Thursday, March 18, 2010
Senate sets new record for avoiding public notice
by Larry Geller
The rules call for 48 hours notice, right? That’s so the public can participate in the legislative process.
Yesterday it’s possible that a new speed record was set. If you were interested in attending yesterday’s hearing of the Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs to give testimony on HB2409 and you blinked, you missed it.
The hearing notice has a date stamp ‘10 MAR 17 A11:11, which translates to 11 a.m., and the hearing was set for 2:45 p.m. If you spotted the hearing notice at all, you had 3 hours and 34 minutes to read the bill, prepare testimony, and get down there. Oh, subtract at least a half hour to find parking at the State Capitol.
Of course, your testimony would be “late”.
As of 6:40 a.m. this morning, the hearing notice above was no longer available. If you click the image, I don’t know if you’ll get a copy. Why?
Nor is the testimony available. It should be here. And strangely enough, not all the testimony is late testimony, there seems to have been something submitted even before the hearing on the bill was announced. That suggests that someone, probably not a member of the public, was involved in pushing this bill to a hearing. Maybe the testimony will be posted shortly and we’ll know.
What is it about this bill that is such a rush? Who benefits?
RELATING TO AQUACULTURE.
Increases lease terms for aquaculture ventures from 35 to 45 years. Permits aquaculture lessees in good standing the right of first refusal. Allows for supportive aquaculture activities. Takes effect July 1, 2020. (HB2409 HD2)
The Senate should re-schedule a hearing on this bill and give 48 hour notice. The original hearing notice with the date stamp should be posted, so that the public record on this bill is accurate. I assume that eventually the testimony will appear on the website, I don’t blame the webmaster who was probably as blindsided on the panic hearing as anyone else. The pdf text of the amendment should be posted on the website (right now it’s missing).
If the Senate refuses to reschedule this hearing, then I think they owe the public an explanation of why this bill was pushed through under the public radar.
Thank you for posting this! I've been following this issue closely and was unable to get testimony submitted because I found out about it right before it happened.
Strangely enough the aquaculture industry was well aware of the hearing ahead of time and submitted a lot of testimony for it.
Thank you for keep track of things like this. I have the feeling this isnʻt the only one. And maybe they are trying to ease in a new way of doing business.