Senate, House leaders try damage control following missed deadline

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Apr 28 2014 06:50:00 PM HST

In a rare move, lawmakers reopened the conference committees this afternoon to revive four bills that fell by the wayside on Friday's deadline day. KITV4's Catherine Cruz takes you behind the scenes.

HONOLULU -

“This time it got convoluted,” said House Speaker Joe Souki.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's story.

He blamed Friday night’s chaos on the Turtle Bay bill which involved some late-session deal making that pushed the legislative process back.

Senate education chair Jill Tokuda lamented that 14 of her bills fell by the wayside even though she believed there was agreement and should have made the deadline.

House and Senate leaders tried to fix the problem after huddling over the weekend.

"Those bills that had agreement on will be given an opportunity to be heard, but most of the bills they were complaining about did not have agreement,' Souki said.

"Reopening conference after the deadline is an extraordinary action, but it was done because the members of the House and Senate wanted to fix this to reassure the public that we were being responsive about those bills not being approved on Friday," said Saiki.

The House and Senate conferees met Monday afternoon and gave a nod to three education bills-- one to raise the school superintendent’s salary, another to prevent the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools and another to allow charter schools to assess fees.

A fourth bill to allow for a manufacturing tax credit failed for lack of quorum in the senate side.

But the list did not include a bill to establish the framework for a statewide pre- school program something advocates had hoped would have made a November ballot question easier for the votes to grasp.

"The early education bills were not approved because of questions about long term fiscal costs but it’s an issue that can be addressed next year after voters have decided on the constitutional amendment," said Saiki.

There are growing tensions in the senate and it could spill out on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The senate takes up a floor vote on whether to confirm Rep. Jessica Wooley as head of the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Wooley told KITV she was shocked to learn of a push to block her confirmation since she earlier won the unanimous approval during a committee hearing.

 

 

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