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Ige may veto bill on aquarium fishing, among others

June 25, 2017 - 12:05am

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige plans to veto a bill that would forbid issuing new aquarium fishing permits. The bill was supported by environmental groups who want to limit aquarium fishing to protect wildlife living around coral reefs.

But Ige said it would be premature to ban aquarium fish collection before more studies are conducted. “Clearly I know that there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue,” he said at a news conference.

The governor on Friday outlined 15 bills he may veto, giving lawmakers a heads-up ahead of a deadline. There’s a chance he may change his mind, but he will finalize his vetoes by July 11.

Ige also may veto a bill that would require the state to defend county lifeguards from lawsuits. He said requiring the state to defend counties for any civil action is an overreach of state authority.

A bill that would allow “tiny homes” of 500 square feet or less to be built on agricultural land on Hawaii Island is also on the chopping block. Ige says the bill is unnecessary because Hawaii County law already allows farm dwellings.

Ige also may veto a bill to allow motorcycle or scooter drivers to go between stopped lanes of traffic and on shoulders of highways. He says that would compromise road safety.

Another bill Ige may veto would require the state auditor to investigate problems with the state’s tax system modernization project. Ige says the audit would be redundant because there’s already an ongoing independent review of the tax modernization project, and an audit may be unhelpful because the tax modernization project is incomplete.

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