Now that the 2019 session is finished, we are in the phase where Governor Ige and his administration read and review all the bills that passed. The Governor has until June 24 to submit a list of any bills he intends to veto to the Legislature and then has until July 9 to actually veto any of those measures, sign them, or let them become law without his signature.
You can help inform the Governor's decision on bills by either calling his office at (808) 586-0034 or filling out this comments on legislation form. Here are a few bills that we want to highlight to Governor Ige:
HB 556 - Hawai‘i to adopt electric appliance efficiency standards:
"Aloha Governor Ige, please support of House Bill 556, Relating to Energy Efficiency. This is an important bill that protects Hawaii consumers from energy wasting appliances that drive up our already high utility bills. Adopting Appliance Efficiency Standards will save Hawaii residents $537 million and 34 billion gallons of water, and prevent the emissions of 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over 15 years. Products and technologies meeting these standards are readily available today from multiple manufacturers. Most of them have no incremental cost, meaning they do not cost more than inefficient models, and consumers will start saving right away. These standards are already in place in California and other states, and it would be easy to adopt them here. I ask you to sign this bill into law."
HB 852 - Restructuring the State Energy Office and appropriating $150k for a carbon tax study:
"Aloha Governor Ige, please support House Bill 852, Relating to the Hawaii State Energy Office. This bill not only restructures our State's Energy Office to be more effective and focus on clean energy solutions, but also appropriates $150,000 to complete a carbon tax study. The Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission believes that putting a price on carbon is the most effective single action that will achieve Hawaii’s ambitious and necessary emissions reduction goals. However, no state has adopted a carbon tax and Hawai‘i's carbon tax could disproportionately affect low and moderate income communities if not implemented correctly. A study on a carbon tax is much needed and will provide clear policy guidance for how future carbon tax proposals can be both effective and equitable. I ask you to sign this bill into law."
SB 301 - Taxing Real Estate Investment Trusts (like Alexander and Baldwin):
"Aloha Governor Ige, please support Senate Bill 301, Relating to Taxation of Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs own income-producing property in Hawaii such as Ala Moana Center, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, as well as office buildings and many other shopping centers and hotels. Together, they own property with an estimated total value of $18 billion, yet they are exempt from paying corporate income taxes. SB 301 is a important and necessary bill to close this tax loophole and support economic justice. REITs should pay corporate income tax, just like any other company does in our state. I ask you to sign this bill into law."
SB 1292 - Airbnb bill
"Aloha Governor Ige, please veto SB 1292, Relating to Transient Accommodations. The key to enforcing on the more than 35,000 illegal vacation rentals in Hawaiʻi is to hold platforms like Airbnb accountable for their profits. They must be transparent about hosts and their listings. But, SB 1292 HD3 establishes that tax information collected by a hosting platform shall be confidential and non-disclosable. I oppose this bill because it legitimizes illegal vacation rentals, which take away what little affordable housing is left in Hawai‘i, and undermines the counties' ongoing efforts to regulate illegal vacation rentals. You vetoed a similar bill in 2016 and I ask you veto this bill too."