Hawaii lawmakers face crucial deadline
HONOLULU — The legislative calendar is littered with deadlines, and a big one looms this week: first crossover. If one chamber (House or Senate) is going to send a bill to the other chamber to become law, it has to pass the originating chamber by first crossover on Thursday.
To allow time for possible amendments, both chambers will be racing Tuesday to vote on their bills before sending them over. Look for lengthy floor sessions in both chambers that day.
The long-winded sessions are just the first of five things to watch for this coming week at the Hawaii statehouse. Four more:
• RED HILL TANKS: The leaders of the House and Senate committees on health, energy and military affairs will convene an informational hearing Friday to get an update on fuel leaks at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Representatives from the Navy, the state health department and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply will attend.
• GRANT-IN-AID: Groups applying for grant-in-aid money will swarm the capitol Friday to make three-minute presentations to the leaders of the House and Senate finance committees. On hand will be a plethora of nonprofits from the arts, health, child welfare, anti-hunger and other community organizations.
• MAJORITY PACKAGES: The Democrats in both chambers introduced groups of bills aimed at thwarting invasive pests, making life easier on seniors and addressing climate change. They will be priorities to get swift passage before crossing to the other chamber.
• MINIMUM WAGE: Bills the House and the Senate are moving to raise the minimum wage, but details differ in each measure. Both chambers will get a chance to pass their versions next week. The big difference is the tip credit. The House version would raise it from 25 cents to $1.