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In just 7 days (from Introduction to Floor Vote), SB 2018 was passed through two committees and received a Senate floor vote to be the first bill passed to the House, well before the first crossover on March 10th. SB 2018 is the minimum wage bill, that by 2026 will raise the minimum wage to $18. The lone voice of reason in the Senate floor debate was Senator Gil Riviere, who also was the lone no vote.
Tomorrow is the opening day of the 31st Legislature and for a third year in a row the Democrat-controlled Legislature will deny the public access to the state Capitol.
“We have been told that Oahu’s embarrassingly high daily case count doesn’t matter because the real number that matters is hospitalizations so restrictions on restaurants and other commercial facilities aren’t needed.
But at the same time, we’re also being told that we can’t fully open the State Capitol to public interaction because it isn’t safe with Covid still spreading. In other words: It’s safe for the public to keep working, keep spending money, and keep being taxed, but it isn’t safe for the public to visit their state legislators who make all the laws. That’s not a democracy, that’s a plantation.” – Danny De Gracia
What adds to our frustrations is the Governor’s latest never-ending emergency proclamation which does nothing more than make voters unable to use remote technology regardless of reason –VOICELESS!
Not deterred, Legislators have started to “pre-file” bills in anticipation of the 2022 Regular Session. Number-wise, new House bills start with HB1398, new Senate bills start with SB2001. To keep up with what’s in the hopper, click on the “Reports and Lists” button on the legislature’s website (https://capitol.hawaii.gov/external link) – you’ll find lists for House and Senate bills under “Measure Introduction”. New bills will continue to populate the lists through the bill introduction deadline on January 26.
Any bill pending at the final adjournment of a regular session in an odd-numbered year shall carry over with the same status to the next regular session. This means that the 2,555 bills not acted on last year can be reconsidered this year.
Here are the 2021 Carryovers we are watching already.
For more on the 2022 Legislative session, click HERE.
“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” James Madison
Being an engaged, active, and responsible citizen requires more than casting a ballot on voting day. Our responsibility as citizens does not end when we exit the voting booth, rather that is the moment at which the true responsibility begins. Whether or not the person for whom you voted actually gets into office should not deter you from making them work for the people.
Remember, our tax dollars pay their salaries; therefore, regardless of whether or not the person sitting in office is the one for whom you voted he/she is still OUR employee. As such, it is up to each of us to ensure that they are working for the people. This requires some effort on our part. This requires us to keep up on legislation on the floor and to write, call, or email our elected representatives on a regular basis. We have far more disclosure in our government than many of us may realize; every bill currently on the floor of our state and federal houses are available for our review.
As much as we want to place all of the blame on the government for failing us, we the people, must take some of the blame upon ourselves. For too long we have remained silent. We have been complacent. We have been lackadaisical bosses. If we want our state back, if we want the political system to work in our favor then we must work for it. We must make the ultimate sacrifice, that of our time and energy. We must take responsibility and we must take action. Imagine the force we the people could be if all of us performed our duty as citizens, if we each wrote letters, made phones, or sent emails to our state representatives every month. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so let’s be the squeaky wheel.
The political process will only work for the people if we, the people, are willing to put in the effort to make it do so.
Become an Effective Citizen Activist