Thursday, April 09, 2015
Public locked out of testimony on 13 bills today
by Larry Geller
“Let the people be damned.” “Who needs their [deleted] testimony anyway.”
Without adequate notice, the public can’t submit testimony or attend a hearing. I’ve reported on a few of these waivers of notice (and missed many), but today takes the cake.
Waivers were requested for 14 bills (listed below). Did you want to testify on any of those? Har, har, you can’t! But you can be sure, with many of these waivers, that somebody was clueful enough to get their testimony in. Just not Jane or John Q. Public.
Instead of the required 48-hour notice, the public was given only 84 minutes notice.
These waivers were requested by the Chair of the House
Waiver Finance Committee Rep. Sylvia Luke. Rep. Luke seems to be making a habit of shortchanging public participation—see here and here. The last link reveals a request for only 48 minutes notice, not quite a record but stunning nevertheless in its disregard for public participation. And yes, the proponents of the bill at the second link, the assumed future beneficiaries of the appropriation it calls for, were “magically” able to submit testimony on “their” bill. There was, of course, no public testimony on the record, but who’s to know why that happened. Sneaky, huh?
And as I said, I’ve missed a few this session.
Now, in fairness, Rep. Luke could not get away with this if it were not for the approval of the Speaker, Joseph Souki.
Here’s the list of bills with links, in case you might have been interested in some of them:
SB250 for decisionmaking only at 2:05 p.m. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=250