Hundreds of bills at the State Legislature passed critical floor votes in the House and Senate today. But the work is far from over as lawmakers head into the last 14 days of the 2018 session. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.
A number of bills are headed to Conference Committee to work out House and Senate disagreements. House Bill 1585 is now the vehicle for a performance and management audit for astronomy activities on Mauna Kea. But, Senator Donna Mercado Kim, opposes the procedure known as gut and replace without public input.
“The public has not been provided an opportunity to submit testimony on the significant or substantial amendment and, therefore, I will be voting against the bill at this point in time.”
Senate Bill 2922 would ask voters to decide if they would approve the establishment of a surcharge to increase funding for public education. But, Representative Roy Takumi, who once chaired the House Education Committee, says the Transient Accommodation Tax or TAT has been eliminated and the state would be hard pressed to fund major programs like universal public pre-school.
“Just by the mere fact the department would need 500 classrooms over a period of years, that pricetag alone, would be $700 million.
But, once the TAT was taken off the table, we have to rely solely on the property tax.”
The last day for House and Senate votes to advance bills to Conference Committee is Thursday. Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.