Tuesday, January 28, 2014

 

Keeping an eye on the legislature: Bill didn’t get its 48-hour notice


by Larry Geller

Spy

The 2014 legislative session is underway in Hawaii. Will we see the same problematic practices as in past sessions? “Gut-and-replace” (where the public is duped by replacing language in a bill) or “Frankenbills” (where unrelated content is grafted onto a bill previously heard and passed by committees)? Will hearings be scheduled with inadequate notice so that the public is sidelined?

It pays to keep an eye open.

House Rules

11.5. Committee Meetings.

(1) Meetings, including decision-making sessions, of standing committees shall be public. Notice shall be publicly posted or announced on the House floor at least forty-eight hours prior to the meeting. Except for notices posted by the Committee on Finance, notice shall be posted before 4:30 p.m. on the last day of the work week for a hearing to be held on the following Monday or Tuesday. Notice of meetings may be shortened at the discretion of the Speaker upon request on the House floor by a chair or vice-chair and upon good cause shown.

There may sometimes be good reason for requesting a waiver of the 48-hour notice requirement. Couldn’t this bill wait for the next hearing of the same committee?

In any case, committee chairs need to know that someone is watching.

The request for a waiver was made on the House floor yesterday at around 1 p.m. by House Committee on Health Chair Della Au Belatti. The notice was posted via email at 2:09 p.m., short of the 48 hour minimum.


NOTICE OF HEARING

DATE: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
TIME: 8:30 AM
PLACE: Conference Room 329
State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street

HB 2292    

MAKING AN EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES FOR THE MED-QUEST DIVISION.

Makes an emergency appropriation from the general revenues of the State of Hawaii for fiscal year 2013-2014 to address the budget shortfall for the general support for health care payments program (HMS 902) in the Department of Human Services.  Effective upon approval



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