Hawaii Governor Calls for Special Legislative Session July 6 - State and Federal Communications

June 30, 2021  •  

Hawaii Governor Calls for Special Legislative Session July 6

State of Hawaii

Lawmakers will return to the Hawaii State Capitol on Tuesday, July 6 to consider overriding Gov. David Ige’s vetoes of measures the Legislature approved this year, and to make some necessary fixes to bills that deal with state finances.

Gov. Ige said he intends to veto 28 bills passed by his fellow Democrats, which is an unusually high number.

The governor is not required to veto all 28 bills and still has the option of signing some of them or allowing them to become law without his signature. That makes it difficult for lawmakers to precisely plan their response, since they do not know yet which measures Gov. Ige will finally reject.

The governor has until 11:59 p.m. on July 6 to veto measures passed this spring. If he takes no action by that date, the bills will then become law with or without his signature.

Gov. Ige has also said he needs amendments to some budget bills because lawmakers specified in the budget the state must use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to repay more than $300 million in bond debt.

The federal government does not allow the state to use pandemic relief funding to pay down debt, and lawmakers will thus need to appropriate money from other sources to cover state borrowing.

That means lawmakers must approve a fix that will ensure the state meets its debt obligations. If the governor and the Legislature can agree on language that would accomplish that, lawmakers can approve an amendment with a simple majority next month without a veto override.

The special session affects lobbyist reporting. A lobbyist and employer activity report must be filed within 30 days of adjournment sine die of any special session covering the period from May 1 through adjournment sine die of the special session. The report applies to and includes only those expenditures and contributions relating to legislative action considered during the special session. Expenditures and contributions included in the report do not need to be included by the person filing the report in any subsequent statement of expenditures.

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