As End of Legislative Session Approaches, 450 Bills Remain in Flux

Apr 16, 2019

Credit Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up their 2019 session in less than three weeks. Friday marked a critical deadline for any bills that are still alive, a process called Second Crossover. 

More than 3,000 prospective new laws have been considered by the state legislature this year. Just 33 have passed both houses and were sent Governor David Igeʻs desk for his signature or veto.

Around 450 bills are still alive – but Senators and Representatives disagree on the details. Those measures will be sent to conference committees – where legislators will try to work out final versions or table the ideas for the year.

Among the bills are several that would change the way Hawaii residents vote, including mandatory recounts for close elections, automatic voter registration, voting by mail, and ranked choice voting.

Another measure would require short term rental platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway to collect General Excise and Transient Accommodation Taxes.

Multiple bills would require audits be performed on government agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Human Services, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.