Hawaii lawmakers juggle hundreds of bills


HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers are pushing through a mountain of difficult bills in a legislative atmosphere ranging from loose to chaotic.

Major decisions loom Friday on the minimum wage, school cooling and the mountainous state budget.

All bills that require funding have to move out of committees on Friday or die. And many of the toughest decisions have been saved until the bitter end.

In one hearing Friday morning, committee members laughed when a fire alarm interrupted a lawmaker’s speech on a bill.

Sen. Josh Green said the alarm went off because his bill was just so hot. Everyone began filing out of the room, but it was deemed a false alarm and they resumed their work.

Committee meetings are expected to last into the evening until it all gets done.