Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Legislative Session Pau by grassroothawaii
May 5, 2011, 5:39 pm
Filed under: Economy | Tags: , ,

by Frances Nuar

Another legislative session is pau. Your senators, representatives and their hard-working staffs can now relax a bit after the whirlwind of the last few months. Over 3200 bills were introduced this legislative session–that’s about 30 bills a day, including holidays and weekends. With bills ranging from a few to several hundred pages, it’s a wonder how our legislators had time to read and vet each one.

Many bills died in the process or were edited to the point of being unrecognizable from their original language. Evidentially a common practice is to take a bill and completely replace the language within–while keeping the same bill number. So a legislator can vote yes on Bill 101 for example, though they completely disagree with Bill 101 when it comes up for final vote; although it’s the same bill number, it’s a completely different bill.

So what are some of the bills which made it through? This session ended with $600 million in new tax revenues being voted upon. That’s right–you and I are on the hook for an additional $600 million. Hope you got a bonus this year!

Some of the bills that will increase your cost of living include an increase in vehicle weight and registration fees, elimination of tax deductions, and an increase in rental car fees.

One of the bills which will affect businesses the most eliminates a GET tax exemption many have come to rely on to do business in what is already a tough business climate. As Senator Roz Baker, D-Honokohau-Makena stated best, the bill “actually will cost us jobs. It will raise the price of many of our goods and services, and certainly raise the cost of living in the state, it may get us a little bit of money, but at what price?”

Great question Senator.


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