Mark Twain once said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
We are four weeks into the legislative session and committee hearings are going at full speed. It is not too late to make your voice heard on bills coming through committees! Committees are really where bills live and die. While there’s so much focus on what’s happening in Washington D.C., now is a great time to go to the state capitol and win battles important to our community!
Legislation we are monitoring.
2018 Legislative Watchlist
Honolulu County Chairman Testimonies
Testimony HB-1908 Prohibited; Multiburst Trigger Activators
Testimony SB-2209 Hawaii’s Individual Mandate for Healthcare
Testimony SB-2290 Sanctuary State
Testimony SB-2323 Homeschool Approval
Your voice can be heard
For those of you who have never navigated through the Hawaii Legislative Website or want a basic refresher, linked below are two easy to follow sample guides to assist you following key legislation and making your voice heard.
Why Your Participation is Important
Unless there is some hot button or a zoning issue on the table, the number of people attending our state legislature and city council meetings is, to stay the least, underwhelming.
It seems like people want to complain about what our city council or state government does or does not do, but they do not regularly attend meetings or hearings and do not sign up for public commenting. What your local government does is your business.
We encourage everyone to find the time in their busy schedules attend public hearings and meetings or submit testimony, especially on the issues that matter most to you.
Every government meeting, except for limited executive sessions, must be held out in the open. Too many times, reporters show up to cover city council, planning commission, board of education, tourism authority, development authority and hospital authority meetings only to look around and see few residents in attendance. There are a core group of people who do attend public hearings and meetings and we commend them for their role in helping to hold local officials accountable, but they should not be alone. When few people show up at hearings and meetings, our elected officials may have the mistaken idea that no one cares what they are doing, or not doing.
Government, at all levels, belongs to the governed and not the governing. We are to be self-governed. It is a principle that has defined America since its inception. We elected the men and women in office to represent our interests, not to think for us and not to just take care of everything for us.
Remember, it is your government and it is your business elected officials are conducting each time they meet.