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August 2008

President's Report
Preparing for Consensus on ConCon (Jean Aoki)
Evening with Bill Schneider
At the Legislature (Jean Aoki)
Vol. XLIII No. 4
LWV of Hawaii - Proposed Budget - June 1, 2008 - May 31, 2009
Honolulu Report (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Hawaii Report (Leilani Bronson-Crelly & Sue Dursin)
Kauai Report (Carol Bain)
Maui Report (Sue Irvine)
LWV-HI Council 2008
Calendar of Events

President's Report

We have had some busy days at the Legislature. We have been working with a Good Government Coalition to pass one bill and stop others. The bill we are supporting vigorously will allow Hawaii County to become a test case for publicly-financed elections. The bill is HB661 now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill we were trying to stop and now are working to amend would remove the cap on corporate donations. We were successful in getting it defeated in the House. On February 28, the House voted to recommit the bill. It was actually very exciting. We were in the gallery when it came on the floor. It was obvious the leadership did not have the votes. Speaker Say called a recess and they caucused. The longer they were out, the more optimistic we became and sure enough, when they returned, they voted to recommit. All your emails and phone calls and the bad publicity paid off!

We did not do as well in the Senate. SB 2204 passed 17 to 8 although seven of the ayes were "With Reservations". It is now up to the House Judiciary Committee whether it lives or dies. SB 2204 contains some good stuff so we are not trying to kill it this time - we just want get it amended to remove the offensive parts, particularly the section that allows for unlimited corporate donations. If we are not successful, we will have to mount another campaign. As we go to press, it seems to be being held in committee effectively killing it.

Note that the federal government bans direct donations from corporations in all federal elections, and 22 states (even Texas!) also ban direct corporate donations. Allowing unlimited corporate donations would be a terrible step backwards. But SB 2204 was introduced by Colleen Hanabusa and Calvin Say so it is hard for legislators to vote no.

Three cheers for Jean Aoki and Jo Ann Muraoka for staying on top of all this and writing such good testimony. On other topics we have had the committees accept League's suggested changes and incorporate them into the bills right on the spot. Another cheer for Senator Les Ihara, Jr. for speaking out on the Senate floor, which was courageous considering he is Senate Majority Policy Leader and is expected to do whatever the Senate President wants.

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Bad news - Mary Anne Raywid is ill and has relocated to Virginia to live with her son and daughter-in-law while she undergoes treatment. We look forward to her return to Hawaii. In the meantime, she can be reached at: 703-280-1350.

Valere McFarland will continue as chair of the Education Committee. But we need a new editor for Ka Leo Hana! Not to mention fund raising!! Help!

Jackie Parnell

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