No matter what your political stripe, you should be aware of the following bills which were passed. The following is not a complete list of all bills, but a brief summary of those bills which were either:
- interesting or
- may impact you directly.
If you wish to get the entire bill, you can contact the Legislative Reference Bureau (587-0700). You can secure from them your own copy of the entire bill. You can also view the bills online at www.capitol.hawaii.gov.
- HB 266, HD2, SD2, CD1 permits an employee to express breast milk during any meal period or break period required by law or by a collective bargaining agreement.
- Keep that car seat! HB1, HD1, SD1, CD1 amends the present law to require that children under 4 must be in a child seat. The previous law limited the restrictions to children up to 3 years old.
- HB 955 HD1, SD1, CD1 makes it a Class C felony to take sexual photographs or videotape without consent when the person expects privacy. For a Class C felony, you can be imprisoned for up to five (5) years. It is a misdemeanor to possess such material.
- SB 947, SD2, HD1, CD1 prohibits its unfair deceptive or abuse of telemarketing acts or practices, including threat, intimidation and provides civil penalties. Tell that to the annoying telemarketer.
- HD 1496, HD1, SD1, CD1 prohibits butterfly knives. Don't get lost. HB 161, HD1, SD2, CD1 gives the State or County the right to charge you for their rescue costs.
- SB 365, SD1, HD1, CD1 prohibits minors from buying or possessing laser pointers and prohibits adults from using laser pointers to harass other people or animals.
- SB 1034, SD1, HD2, CD1. The $1.3 Billion settlement from the tobacco suit will be divided 40% for the States emergency fund, 35% to the Health Department and 25% for anti smoking programs.
- HB 1111, HD2, SD2, CD1 protects the State from Y2000 lawsuits unless there was gross negligence.
- Act 50 sets forth new requirements for a reverse mortgage. These mortgages tend to involve older owners borrowing against the equity of their property.Act 50 requires counseling for borrowers before entering into reverse mortgage loans.
- SB 646, SD2, HD3, CD1 reduced the cost of copying government records from 50 (CENTS) per page to 5 (CENTS) a page. A small step in the right direction.
- SB 236, SD1, HD1, CD1 prohibits offering prizes on a drawing or sweepstakes without a conspicuous written disclosure that some or of all prizes may not be awarded and indicating the dates on which winners will be determined.
- HB 212, HD1, CD1 provides for a mandatory $500 fine and 48 hours in jail for an adult convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol with a passenger younger than 15 years of age. Is this enough?
- SB 638, SD1, SD2, HD2 reduces pyramiding in the excise tax on services and some wholesale goods. The general excise tax will be reduced over a six year period from the present 4% to 0.5% by the year 2006. A small slow step in the right direction.
- SB 44, SD1, HD2, eliminates the 4% excise tax for services provided by Hawaii professionals exported out of the State. Thus, if you move out of the State of Hawaii, we will not charge you the 4% general excise tax on our fees.
- HB 1017, HD1, SD1, CD1 authorizes the Housing and Community Development Corp. of Hawaii to issue $2.2 Million in tax exempt and revenue bonds. Thus, more Hula Mae mortgage money should be available.
Some notable items which failed to win approval were:
- Confirmation of Margery Bronster as attorney general.
- Physician assisted suicide.
- Tuition waiver for Native Hawaiians.
- Ban against the cutting of shark's fin in Hawaiian waters.
- Ban on reduction in personal income tax.
- Separation incentives for public employees to retire early.