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Sandra Duckworth (Sandra Duckworth)
Vice-President Evelyn Bender (Evelyn Bender)
Convention Highlights
Board of Directors News
Member Doings
Hawaii Area-wide Information Access Network (Debbie Kimball)
This and That
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Leaders for the Coming Year(s)
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Vice-President Evelyn Bender

Vice-President Evelyn Bender has been League's member of the Coalition' on Legislative Reform, a citizen's coalition (AAUW, Common Cause, and the Hawaii Council of Churches), which has been reviewing areas in legislative processes which hinder citizen participation.

The coalition has presented its recommendations to House and Senate leadership and to each legislator. Their recommendations. cover access to capitol facilities and information, the need for a public service room, legislative staffing patterns, and access to the legislative process.

Her many years as League member and as a participant in the legislative arena - as lobbyist and as employee - have made Evelyn uniquely qualified for participation in the coalition.

Here is her "Viewpoint" of May 28, 1989:

"The 1989 legislative session is over. Again this year, we viewed the last minute frenzy to meet midnight deadlines. Bills were lost. Some did not get signed on time. The House and Senate conference versions of the budget did not agree. Legislators seemed to be signing signature sheets without knowing what the bills actually said. It was necessary to extend the session two additional days but even so things still remained chaotic.

All during the session, there were numerous complaints about the roadblocks faced by citizens wishing to observe and participate in the legislative process. host of the already very limited public parking spaces at the Capitol were reserved all day, every day for members of the executive branch. Bills were not in print in time for hearings. Hearing notices were late. Final floor action on amended bills was taken, sometimes days before the public could get copies of them.

Although the House did make an attempt to help and provided some information via computers and other technology, not all citizens had the equipment at their end of the line to take advantage of it.

The League believes that the legislative leadership must take time to stand back and really look at the total legislative process while keeping the public in mind. We know they will agree that changes must be made so that it becomes a more open and deliberative process and not a frenzied rush to the finish line each year."

Members are urged to call or write their legislators and ask that they join in a concerted effort to relieve the "crush-rush" situation.

Evelyn Bender

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