Tuesday, March 31, 2009


House to take vote on secret resolution on Thursday

by Larry Geller

Thanks to a leak from a concerned citizen, we bring you the latest moth hole in the fabric of democracy in Hawaii.

This is not an April Fools joke.

On Thursday, April 2, 2009, the Hawaii State House of Representatives Committee on Human Services will hear a secret resolution, and then they will pass it. Only a very few people on Oahu and maybe a handful of others know what this is about. If you are not one of them, tough.

Not April Fools Joke

This resolution is about installing sprinkler systems in residential care homes for the elderly. But over on the left side of the hearing notice, it says:

Recommendation is to insert new title and contents into HCR243. Proposed HD1 for HCR243 is available in Room 436.

Whaaa? A new title and contents? What’s the same besides the number? Nothing. This is called “gut and replace.”

Making the text of a measure available only by pickup from an office has been a frequent tactic practiced by the House.

That’s right, you are asked to trek over to Room 436 to find out what this is all about. Sorry, Neighbor Islanders and those on the North Shore or Leeward Coast. They know that you can’t really come down to Room 436. You are being deliberately left out of the legislative process.

If they wanted you to see the proposed reso, they could post it on the website, right? This is 2009, even a 15-year-old kid could post it on the web site. The Senate posts proposed amendments on its website. Not to do so is a choice.

There’s plenty of space on the hearing notice to mention the new title, at least. But they chose not to do that either.

The new resolution could be critical to the well-being of each of us, for all we know, or it could be totally irrelevant. We can’t tell unless we go over there to get a copy.

The overwhelming majority of citizens will not see the proposed resolution. It also makes a mockery of the 48-hour notice rule, since there is no notice for the actual reso until the Chair announces it at the hearing.

You can’t send in testimony for or against it, they will pass it anyway, and you’ll find out later what it was about, if you remember to look it up on the Capitol website.

As far as I am concerned, even if they pass it, the resolution has not had a hearing.

This ought to be a violation of House rules, and it ought to be fixed. This committee should cancel the hearing, publish the reso they intend to hear, and reschedule.

C’mon, good government watchdogs, bark up!

If you think this is wrong, you could email Speaker Calvin Say, but I’m not even going to bother giving his email, I know he doesn’t care. This is a long-standing abuse. He should have fixed it some time ago.

Please keep the leaks coming.

Send to: leak@disappearednews.com. And thanks for letting me know.


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