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Top Lawmakers Consider Special Session to Override Vetoes


Leaders in the Hawaii Legislature are discussing whether or not to call a special legislative session for the purpose of overriding executive vetoes by Gov. David Ige.

A memo from House Speaker Scott Saiki, distributed to all House members and obtained by HPR, indicated that the speaker was in discussions with Senate President Ron Kochi about the possibility of convening an override session on July 9.

According to the Hawaii State Constitution, the governor has 35 days to inform lawmakers of his intent to veto any bills passed by the legislative branch. Ige released his intent to veto list on June 24 that included 20 measures the governor was considering for a veto.

July 9th is the deadline for the governor to sign passed bills into law, allow them to become law without his signature, or issue a veto. Some 303 measures were passed by state legislators in the 2019 session.

It’s also the last opportunity for lawmakers to override a veto, which requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.

Several high-profile bills are included on Ige’s intent to veto list, including a measure that would require short-term rental booking platforms to collect state taxes, another that would eliminate a corporate tax exemption for real estate trusts, and a bill that would restrict the ability of law enforcement to seize private property suspected of being used in a crime, a process known as civil asset forfeiture.

It was not immediately clear what an override session would cost taxpayers. A five-day special session in 2017 was estimated to cost taxpayers $27,000.

The memo from Speaker Saiki indicated that a decision on the matter would be made by Friday, July 5th.

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