Stockholm Conference (Edie Idler)
Garbage - Where it's at on Oahu (Judy Blatchford)
Mayor Kimura's Formula for Good Results from Planning
Reflections from Hubby
National Convention! (Sara Thompson)
LWV - Hawaii Directory - 1972-73
Legislative Log: Land Use (Carol Whitesell)
Election Laws, Campaign Finances, Ethics (Nan Lowers & Alice Scott)
Schools (Frances McLeod)
At 12:00 P.M. Friday, April 14, 1972 the gavel banged down ending the final session in the State House, Then, and only then, could we be certain we would not have to work on a Board of Education ballot issue this November. It was a hectic last three days for League lobbyists and members and emphasized that in dealing with the Legislature we must be always on the scene, always vigilant, never once relaxing and assuming we know what is going to occur - or that a position is assured.
This session the Senate considered several bills on the BOE that were passed in the House in 1971. The LWV objectives were to get a bill passed in the Senate that would
1) provide an apportioned BOE that responded to the one man, one vote principle and
2) give more opportunity for input at the local level.
On March 9 we felt fairly optimistic - House Bill #1441 which called for an appointed school board was amended to provide for an elected board and a commission to apportion the board. During the month of March IAN testified at Senate Committee hearings that Although we supported the &mewled bill we wanted the reapportionment to be a permanent constitutional provision. The Senate passed the amended bill on April 7 and it was sent back to the House for final reading.
The House would not approve the amended bill and a House-Senate Conference Committee was set up to resolve the differences. Conflicting reports from Conferees alerted us the. our bill was in trouble.
April 11 - Less than a week after the Senate had formally discarded the notion of an appointed board the Conference Comaittee killed HB 1441 and revived HB 26 which had been 1ocked up in Senate Education Committee since March 1971. This Was a bare bones bill providing for an appointed Board - period.
April 12 - League began drafting paper for distribution to Senate and started telephone Campaign asking for defeat of the bill on 3d reading on the floor of the Senate.
April 13 - Senate passed HB26 during evening session, amidst many others skimmed through while members worked to shuffle three Orders of the Day, with which they were dealing due to last-minute back-log of bills.
- In anticipation of this, League lobbyists had visited all 51 Representatives during the day to alert them to possibility HB26 may be up for their vote on the last day and to urge a NO vote. Other League members flooded the capitol with telephone calls urging NO votes from their Representatives. We contacted other organization and concerned friends who also added to the volume of cal1s. As one Legislator put it to a League member while conversing in his office cad the telephone rang… “My secretary will get it. It's probably another NO on HB26."
April 14 - Last day!!! HB 26 was on the Order of the Day for the House during evening session. By 3 PM we felt we possibly had the votes to defeat the measure. Several Representatives had been working hard to gather sufficient NO strength and identified to us where we might do some last minute work.
At early evening cession the House moved to place HB26 at the end of the agenda. Our sources tell us this was because there was word out there were enough No votes to kill it at that time. During a recess both sides worked to strengthen their position. Only 1/3 of the members needed to vote NO, because it was a Constitutional amendment and a simple majority cannot pass it. All the promised NO votes held, so the bill was allowed to die under the gavel at midnight.
Moral: Understanding the legislative process academically and learning about it realistically give you concepts that are worlds apart.
Moral: We still have work to do. While we still have assurance of an elected Board, we must look to some means of providing for its apportionment.
...AND MORE SCHOOLS
School Finance Action
As the Legislature opened in 1972 the League was armed With a broad new consensus on school finance. (See February Leo Plana for complete statement.)
The 1971 Legislature passed a large budget for education and told the Governor to cut it if the state of the economy warranted it. It was cut, without the Governor having any priorities as guidelines.
When the teacher contract agreement was reached which allowed for a greater teacher-pupil ratio, but did not allow for an increase in personnel we were interested in how this was to be accomplished. e wrote to the chairman of the House and Senate Education and Finance Committees urging them to look at the teacher contract and set priorities for program cuts and further expressing interest in budget procedures that would encourage hard decision making on the levels of the department, Board of Education and Legislature. We also testified before the Senate Education Committee on these issues.
Due to the reaction of Gov. Burns, Rep. Suwa and other senators, we feel we accomplished our goal of making governmental leaders more aware of our concern and they seem to be giving us serious attention in an area where there is little citizen input.
State Aid to Private Schools
"A Study of Non-public Schools in Hawaii" was completed by the University of Hawaii and presented to the 1972 session. The Senate with great alacrity, appointed another commission to study the UH study. The new commission is to decide how much these new programs (such as the education voucher plan and the tax-credit plan) are going to cost the state. It appears there may be growing acceptance among state legislators that some form of state aid should be provided to private schools in Hawaii.
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