Call to Council
President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
Vote Count Volunteers Saluted
League and Debates: Who Cares? (Catherine Tignac)
Hawaii Firearms Control
Leasehold Committee Reports
Home Rule Study
Neighbor Island News
Invitation to Join
Debate Guidelines Carried
Education Video Available
Education Committee News (Libby Oshiyama & Marion Saunders)
League on the "Light Side"
Focusing on LWVUS
World Population News
Recycling Catches On
The 1992 Legislature
The 1992 legislative session has been an interesting one, but frustrating, for two reasons. First, the relocation of the executive and legislative branches into new quarters resulted in smaller quarters and confusion as you tried to find your way around the maze. Second, the gloomy economic forecasts have cast a pall over the session especially in the areas which deal with human services, housing, education, etc. There does not appear to be enough money to carry on or improve existing services or to start new ones.
The League has been very busy testifying on measures dealing with filling midterm legislative vacancies, reapportionment, elections, campaign financing, firearms, education, and legislative management. Several of the bills we supported have survived the crossover and are now awaiting action in the other chamber. In addition, we have been tracking legislation in the areas of environment, housing, human services, health, and, of course, the budget.
Some including the midterm legislative vacancy bill and several reapportionment measures. calling-for constitutional and statutory changes are now in their final stages of legislative approval. Although the Governor has vetoed the bills, which would require the filling of midterm legislative vacancies within 60 days, in the past two sessions, he has indicated he will sign it this year.
We also supported four House and Senate resolutions which urge the President and Congress to rescind the Federal Drug Administration's ban on RU-486 and related agents and to support their availability for appropriate research and clinical testing. All of the resolutions were recommended for adoption by their respective committees.
We were disappointed that a meaningful initiative bill did not emerge. We were successful in killing a proposed ballot question calling for a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to ban certain firearms. Our legal advisors as well as many other legal experts did not interpret the discussions and reports of the framers of Hawaii's Constitution in the same way as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary did. They believe that the legislature already has the power to ban certain firearms. They felt that such a law should be passed and then the question of the constitutionality could be tested in court rather than going through the constitutional amendment process
The League's small lobbying corps was able to accomplish as much as it has by sharing and receiving information with other organizations in various coalitions. We meet regularly with the coalitions on Firearm Control, Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues, Legislative Access, Initiative, and occasionally with those dealing with environment and elderly.
Elections are Coming
The State and Honolulu Leagues are already gearing up for the coming elections and are exploring ways to get as much information as possible regarding candidates and ballot questions out to the public. Several proposed constitutional amendments are already wending their way through the legislative process. The City and County of Honolulu Charter Commission is expected to have several proposed charter amendments on the ballot.
Nationally. we will be electing a president, vice-president, one senator and two members of Congress. Statewide we will be electing 51 House members, 13 senators, and several members of the Board of Education. In Honolulu we will be voting for mayor and prosecuting attorney, on the Big Island mayor and council, and Kauai and Maui council members.
What are you doing about these elections? Have you thought about running for one of these offices? We encourage you to do so. If not, chose candidates who reflect your-views on issues and work for and support them with time and financially. Join with other League members to publicize the ballot questions and get as much information as possible out to the public.
REMEMBER DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT!