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State Legislators Approve Bills for First Crossover

Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature is nearing the halfway point when bills must clear the first hurdle in that process. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  



Legislative bills must be approved three times in their originating chamber to advance to the next step, known as the 1st crossover.  House bills go to the Senate and Senate bills go to the House for consideration.  Among them will be House Bill 2739, the medical aid in dying measure that would enable residents diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than 6 months to live access to prescription drugs to end their lives.  Representative Della Au Belatti introduced the measure.


“That is what this bill is about.  It is to offer that end-of-life option for individuals with a terminal illness to talk about how they want to live in their remaining time.”


The bill passed, 39 in favor-to-12 opposed, and can be passed by the Senate outright without an amendment.   The House also wants to outlaw liquor consumption within 1-thousand yards of any beach or shoreline in the state.  Representative Kaniela Ing introduced the bill because of the Independence Day Flotilla in Waikiki last year.


“In July there was about 200 rescues outside of Waikiki.  Our first responders, that we all say we support, were very, very much overwhelmed.  There’s 12 ambulances for the South side of O’ahu,  ten were used in that one spot.”


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
The State Senate also passed a number of bills on 3rd reading.

In the Senate, S-B 2046, would prohibit multi-burst trigger activators, known as bump stocks, to be manufactured, imported or sold in the state.  Senator Donna Mercado Kim.


“We cannot understand why anyone would need to equip firearms with a means of increasing its rate of fire for any kind of civilian use.  In 2017 there were 9 school shootings across the United States.  And this year alone, in 2018, we already had nine.”


Other Senate bills propose a Constitutional Amendment asking voters to decide if they want to increase public education funding, a few appropriation bills for homelessness and tax increases.  Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.


Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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