Governor Vetoes 3 Bills on Nursing, Wildlife, and Building Code
By Wendy Osher
Governor Neil Abercrombie notified legislators of his decision to veto three bills upon today’s deadline for action, officials with his office announced.
The governor’s office released information on the action which includes the veto of HB654 relating to nursing, HB763 relating to the state building code, and HB988 relating to native wildlife.
The items were among a list of nine that the governor had identified for possible veto two weeks ago.
The governor vetoed HB654, relating to nursing, saying it is unnecessary to include the provisions in state statues because the bill’s objectives can already be achieved without law through agreement.
He said some of the requirements of the bill including collaboration with other agencies and survey data collection is already being done.
The governor also vetoed HB763, relating to the state building code, because he said it would have set a “negative precedent” by using funds from the Hurricane Relief Fund.
“The fund is essential to ensure the protection and safety of the people of Hawaiʻi and, toward that end, the fund must be rebuilt and not depleted,” the announcement said.
The governor also vetoed HB988, relating to native wildlife, saying “its scope is too narrow” and also would have “expanded the number of programs that draw from the fund generated by the Environmental Response, Energy, and Food Security Tax.”
The governor offered congratulations to lawmakers for working together, calling the session a “productive” one.
The governor highlighted several of the 269 bills that he passed this session saying,
“For the first time, the State of Hawaiʻi will be codifying into law a commitment to preparing young children for success in school and life by ensuring that all island keiki have access to preschool (Act 169). We are also knocking down barriers to renewable energy, allowing greater segments of our community to become active participants in our shared energy future (Act 211). And, we have set our state on a responsible fiscal course, fulfilling the promise to pay back funds borrowed from our fiscal reserves (Acts 266 and 267) and creating a new statutory requirement to address long-term unfunded liabilities (Act 268).”
Gov. Abercrombie called the bills “truly transformative” and said they would have “lasting positive impacts on the future of our state.”
In addition to the three vetoes, and multiple bills that were signed into law, the governor also plans to let 12 other measures pass without his signature including the following list: HB424, relating to timeshare conveyances; HB1059, relating to court advisement concerning alien status; HB1130, relating to the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation; SB3, relating to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; SB68, relating to sentencing; SB614, relating to public works of art; SB867, relating to the Hawaiʻi Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund; SB911, making appropriations for collective bargaining cost items; SB966, relating to the Uniform Mediation Act; SB1214, relating to transportation; SB1265, relating to contracts; and SB1388, relating to the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui also was scheduled to sign several bills into law today as he covers for the governor who is on Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Taipei.