Monday, July 07, 2008
Urge the House to schedule override session
by Larry Geller
If a bill that you support is on the list, your phone call can help convince the Legislature that an override session should be held. The Senate is probably on board for a special session, but the House is being resistant. So you can help by calling Speaker Calvin Say’s office and asking him to support holding a veto override session. The decision will be made tomorrow (Tuesday) at about 10 a.m., so please call today. Speaker Say’s phone number is 586-6100. Don’t worry, he doesn’t answer his phone personally, all you have to do is leave a message.
Call your own representative also if you can. Phone numbers are here.
Today a rally for two caregiving bills attracted 30-50 people or so to the Capitol rotunda, but it wouldn’t matter to our governor if there were 1,000 protesters calling to her. She’ll probably veto whatever bills she likes anyway. Just like George Bush ignores hundreds of thousands of peace marchers, this governor can shrug off any group of citizens nonchalantly.
What to do? It’s really frustrating. All session long people take time off from work to go down to the Legislature and give testimony.
Committees digest the testimony and move the bills along. Many of the bills, such as the caregiver bills that were the subject of today’s rally, are important contributions to the safety net as Hawaii’s economy fluctuates amid the country’s fuel and food shortages.
And then they go to the governor’s office… and nothing comes out.
I’m from New York, and our parents taught us what to do in such a situation.
So I brought the Governor a bottle of prune juice as an official gift.
Chanting “Prune Juice for the Governor” and other chants, the group invaded her space. Can’t tell if she was in, but if she was, she got the message. A flock of sheriffs came rapidly, someone must have pushed the panic button. After a few quiet minutes while waiting to see if the group could meet with the governor, the word came out that she was not available, and everyone left.
All this to try and get a couple of very worthwhile bills passed, and maybe encourage her to release some of the money she’s holding back for other programs. And maybe she’ll start enforcing the Rx Plus law that should have been implemented starting in 2004 to negotiate for rebates on prescription drugs from the fat pharmaceutical companies.
Again, if you find a bill you’ve been supporting on the veto list, please do call Calvin Say and ask for a veto override session. Call today, they decide tomorrow.
There is a regulation somewhere that prohibits sign-holding inside the capitol without a permit. Our sign-holding on the fifth floor during the UHPA/HSTA strike in 2001 was quickly thwarted and bull-horn was used in its place.