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May 2007

September 2007

President's Message
Convention (Mary Anne Raywid)
Con Con 2010 - Yes or No? (Jean Aoki)
Newly-Elected 2007 State Board (JoAnn Maruoka)
Traveler's Alert (Grace Furukawa)
Fundraiser Proposal for League (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Elections News (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (Grace Furukawa & Judy Rantala)
Contributors to Our 2007 Non-Event
At the Legislature (Jean Aoki & JoAnn Maruoka)
Vetoes and Veto Overrides (Jean Aoki, JoAnn Maruoka & Jackie Parnell)
Design a Non-Event Fundraiser!
Chapter Reports - Hawaii (Leilani Bronson-Crelly & Sue Dursin)
Chapter Reports - Honolulu (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Chapter Reports - Kauai (Carol Bain)

Vetoes and Veto Overrides

As of May 11, 15 bills had been vetoed by the governor. The Legislature had overridden eight of those bills while still in session and hence they became law.

Among the bills vetoed and then saved by override was H.B.10 which among other provisions requires a drug manufacturer or labeler who sells prescription drugs in the state to enter a rebate agreement with the Department of Human Services. The governor objected to the bill, claiming that it requires pharmaceutical companies which voluntarily participate in the Hawaii RX Plus program to additionally provide rebates and it will likely end voluntary participation in the RX program. She claims that the bill she offered, HB 1359, would accomplish the goals of HB 10 better. This veto was overridden.

Another bill vetoed was SB 14 which implements the provisions of Article X, Section 6 of the State Constitution as amended by voters in the 2006 Elections. It establishes a seven-member Advisory Council which would screen and nominate candidates for the University of Hawaii Board of Regents from which the Governor would appoint the regents. Among other things, the governor objects to the multiple appointing authorities of the members of the Advisory Council saying that they are special interest groups and that trustees should be independent in their individual and collective judgment and should serve the people of Hawaii, not special interest groups. The veto was overridden.

A bill that amends the way legislative vacancies are filled, SB 1063, gives the political party of the prior incumbent the opportunity to nominate three prospective appointees from their own party from which the governor would make his/her appointment. This policy would also apply to Hawaii vacancies in the U.S. Senate. The governor's objections ranged from the fact that the nominees would be selected by people who are not elected by the public, and included that the requirement that candidates be registered members of their party for at least six months prior to the appointment would narrow the list of qualified candidates. The veto was overridden.

The Process of Vetoes and Overrides

After a bill passes both houses and is certified by the presiding officers and clerks of each house, it is sent to the governor. The governor can sign it into law, or may return it to the legislature with her objections. Except for items appropriated to be expended by the judicial and legislative branches, the governor may veto any specific item or items in any bill which appropriates money for specific purposes by striking out or reducing the amount, but all other bills can only be vetoed in their entirety.

The governor has ten days to consider any bill that has been sent to his or her office ten or more days before the legislature adjourns sine die (final adjournment of a legislative session). If the bill is not signed into law or returned by the governor with her objections by the 10th day, it becomes law as though he/she has signed it.

But for all bills presented to the governor less than ten days before the legislature adjourns, he/she has forty-five days to consider the bills, and they become law on the forty-fifth day unless the governor by proclamation has given ten days' notice to the legislature that he or she plans to return a bill or bills with the governor's objections on that day. The legislature may convene at or before noon on the forty-fifth day in special session for the sole purpose of overriding the governor's vetoes. It takes a two-thirds vote of all members to which each house is entitled to override a veto. If the legislature fails to convene, the vetoed bills do not become law.

Another possible response to a bill vetoed by the governor is for the legislature to amend it in answer to the governor's objections. Only one reading is required of the amended bill by both houses, and only if the governor signs it within ten days after presentation does it become law.

Special Session

Since there are many bills still awaiting the governor's consideration, we do not know how many more bills will be returned without signature with the proper proclamation ten days before the forty-five days are up, announcing her intent to veto those measures. If the legislature decides to override the vetoes on any bills, a special session may be held for the purpose of overriding one or more of the vetoes.

In the 2005 Legislative session. records show that 26 bills were vetoed by the governor. In a special session on July 12, 2005, 12 of those vetoes were overridden by the legislature. Bills ranged from topics such as civil defense, frozen food products, to taxation.

Jean Aoki
JoAnn Maruoka
Legislative Committee

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