Wednesday, February 18, 2015


More waivers convey a “Public be damned” attitude toward legislative hearings

by Larry Geller

The Hawaii state legislature committed three more waivers of notice today. Should you be interested in any or all of these bills, your opportunity to prepare testimony or to make space in your calendar to attend a hearing has been cut short.

Here are the bills, together with why you might care, if you were allowed to:

SB803 Requires a workers' compensation impartial exam to be conducted by a doctor whose specialty is appropriate for the injury to be examined in cases where the director of labor and industrial relations appoints a doctor to conduct an exam.

If you’re interested in this bill, hurry up, it will now be heard at 10 a.m. Thursday, possibly after you’ve read this.

SB64 Makes appropriations for positions and the continued implementation of the preschool open doors program and for subsidies for the program.

This bill will be heard Thursday at 1:25 p.m., but of course any testimony you send in will now be considered “late” testimony. Shame on you.

HB1147 Establishes the emergency services failsafe program to assist physicians and patients in obtaining a second medical opinion regarding diagnosis and treatment.

Sounds good to me. Be there at 11:10 Thursday if you want a say in this.

Look, stuff happens. The legislative calendar is clogged with bills. But the public is supposed to be given 48 hours notice at least, and the waiver cheats us all, even if we didn’t plan on attending. It often lets industry insiders call the shots because they’ve been in close contact with lawmakers the whole time.


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