House Bill 862 Awarded Annual Rusty Scalpel Award By Good Government Groups
Award given to state legislature's most dishonest "gut and replace" legislation. Honolulu, HI — Today, Common Cause Hawaii and The League of Women Voters of Hawaii announced that this year’s Rusty Scalpel Award for most unconstitutional state legislation was given to HB 862 “Relating to State Government,” for its overly-broad scope, ever-changing intent, and lack of transparency throughout the bill-to-law process. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser urged Governor Ige to veto the legislation, which he included on his intent-to-veto list because the bill ignores constituents’ demands.
“‘Gut and replace’ legislation violates the Hawaii State Constitution, reduces transparency, undermines accountability, and eliminates valuable public input throughout the legislative process.” said Donna Oba, President of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii.
The bill, originally intended to abolish the office of aerospace development, was gutted and amended to deal with the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems and received three readings on separate days. In the Senate, provisions dealing with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Workforce Development Council, Public Utilities Commission, Transient Accommodations Tax, and more were added, which were all unrelated to the original bill topic, the office of aerospace development. Further, the Senate hodgepodge version of HB862 did not receive three readings in either chamber. The League of Women Voters of Hawaii and Common Cause Hawaii believe that HB862 should be vetoed because of its constitutional defects.