Chair Representative Tokioka, Vice Chair Oshiro, members of LMG,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii strongly opposes HB 2902 Relating to Public Education Government Television. For one thing, the objective of this bill is very vague and could be interpreted in different ways. It could mean that the cable fees could be divided equally among Public Access, Education Access, and Government Access, or it could mean that part of the money could be diverted to other uses.
Assuming that the first objective is the purpose for this bill, it does not make much sense. There would be a duplication of certain responsibilities and tasks which 'Olelo handles ably now so that the money for all three is put to maximum use.
Not only is there a sharing of equipment at times, the objectives of different programs do overlap.
For example, 'Olelo develops the community access centers which are excellent education centers.
When 'Olelo puts on programs like Candidates in Focus, it is doing the work that government should be doing in supplying the forums for candidates, especially for those who do not have the money to reach the public on their own. When community organizations like the League of Women Voters
present forums and debates on legislatively proposed constitutional amendments using the resources of our community accesses stations like 'Olelo, we and the access stations are doing some of the work that government should be doing. It is the legislature's responsibility to see that the proposed amendments are understood by the public. Only an informed public can vote intelligently. Of course, there will be media ads sponsored by different groups advocating for and against some of these ads,
and the “loudest” will probably sway the most people a great deal of the time, but we do need to supply all of the pros and cons for those who wish to come to their own conclusions.