February, 1981 Home   Newsletters

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League Is at City Hall
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
Garbage Power (Anna Hoover)
What Makes the City Run? (Astrid Monson)
Mayor's Views on Density
League's Views
Bills! Bills! Bills! (Arlene Woo)
Money for League!
Housing Location Study
Whither Federal Dollars? (Arlene Woo)
Is this You?
What's Up in League?
New Names in a New Administration

Once again Hawaii's legislature is in session, and we're confident that everyone will settle down and enact laws for our state. The question is, "HOW MANY LAWS?" Many legislators seem to feel that the more bills they introduce, the more satisfied their constituents will be. We wish they would heed the reminder: QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.

In the 10th Legislature, almost 9000 bills and resolutions were introduced.

About 10% of the bills were passed and about half of the resolutions were approved. With only 60 working days, it is nearly impossible for legislators to read much less study the thousands of bills proposed. It is even harder for the general public to screen and follow them.

All of these proposals are costing the taxpayers money. Reams of paper are consumed, and hours of staff time is devoured in typing, drafting, amending, obtaining signatures, distributing, and printing these thousands of bills. Hawaii ranks second in the nation for legislative operating costs per capita. The 1978 figure for Hawaii was $8.16. The national average is $2.82.

We ask legislators to become more selective and to suggest alternatives to their constituents seeking introductions. At the same time, the public, the media, and vested interest groups should also temper their legislative requests. Hopefully, this year's legislators will follow Representative Wakatsuki's advice and "not work so hard at making many laws, but rather ... make meaningful laws that work."

Arlene Woo
for Viewpoint

ADDENDUM: Arlene's Viewpoint was aired the week of Feb. 2, and the legislators were obviously not listening! By Feb. 20, just before the recess, 4580 bills and resolutions had been introduced. That's incredible!

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