Statements or Stalemates? - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

January 24, 2011

Statements or Stalemates?

The Hawaii legislative session got underway last week after all of the chairs and leadership positions were finally arranged to meet most people's approval, as Calvin had the final Say. It's always much easier when you have a one-party state, but this internal strife lasted longer than most squabbles. Concessions were made, and the disenchanted will apparently have their voices heard alongside the entrenched. At the end of the day, there are just 60-working days to get things done; yes, just 60-planned days of legislating, to discuss and decide on how legislation will help the people of Hawaii.

With a projected $800-million deficit cloud hanging over this session, legislators cannot simply wish away the red ink by hoping that the tourism numbers continue to soar. There really will have to be some tough decisions made, some programs or items cut, and some unpopular verdicts reached. Or maybe not; maybe, to ensure re-election, legislators will slog through the estimated 4,500 bills proposed and simply push off the table some glaring and major issues that really do need to get addressed now. But it is always easier to decide things in odd years when the voters can't get back at you just yet, so this would be a good year for change and enlightened thinking on certain costly issues.

And by the way- 4,500 bills? That's an estimate by StateNet, but if true, our elected officials will be looking at more paperwork than 44 other states- and that seems to guarantee a waste of some time when there are only 60-work days scheduled to get everything done. Save the trees; enough with frivolous, fringe, appeasement bills that invariably get snuffed away, please. Let's work on the hard stuff. Think about it…

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