Monthly Archives: January 2003

Rep. Karamatsu’s Bills (Primary Introducer)


I am the first primary introducer for the following bills for this 2003 legislative session:

(1) HB678 Establishes the Hawaii Employer Mutual Health Insurance Company to provide health insurance to Hawaii employers.
(2) HB679 Requires the department of transportation to establish standards for the placement of school zone traffic signals, signage, and crosswalks, on public roads, to help ensure the safety of students, parents, and school personnel.
(3) HB680 Provides for mandatory ethics training for legislators, elected members of the board of education, executive department heads and deputies, and trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs.
(4) HB681 Removes Social Security number requirement for driver’s license. Authorizes the submission of identifying documents.
(5) HB682 Makes appropriation to Department of Health to work with Department of Education and law enforcement agencies to prevent crystal meth use.
(6) HB683 Gives students enrolled in University of Hawaii film courses reasonable access to the Diamond Head film studio.
(7) HB684 Provides a tax credit for the purchase of motion picture and film, and television production and post-production equipment.
(8) HB685 Designates the entire island of Oahu as an enterprise zone for two years from 07/01/2003 to 06/30/2005.
(9) HB686 Provides a tax credit of an unspecified amount to small high-tech companies to encourage expansion.
(10) HB687 Requires HTA to include performance goals, monitoring requirements, and measures of effectiveness in each contract in which public funds are expended for tourism marketing or promotion. Requires annual report.
(11) HB688 Defines “works of art” for purposes of the “art in public places” program to include aesthetic art objects, including digital media.
(12) HB689 Provides matching funds up to $75,000 for the plantation village programs through the Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park.
(13) HB690 Requires Hawaii tourism authority to allocate a portion of its biennial budget to contract with the Hawaii Technology Trade Association to market and promote high technology industries in Hawaii.
(14) HB691 Contract for a public works project, a joint venture of two or more contractors shall qualify for the preference in this section if all joint venture contractors meet the requirements: a state agency shall award the contract to an offeror who has filed all state tax returns due to the State and paid all amounts owing on such returns for two successive years prior to submitting the offer; provided that the amount of that offer is not more than seven per cent higher than the amount offered by any competing contractor who has not filed or paid all applicable state taxes, and the amount of the offer by the state tax paying offeror is $5,000,000 or less.
(15) HB692 Specifies that the jurisdiction of the ethics commission over an elected official begins when the official is elected, not when the official takes office.
(16) HB1521 Prohibits the use of social security numbers to verify the identity of a person signing a candidate’s nomination papers.
(17) HB1522 Establishes an economic zone commission to designate and support economic zones and economic recovery zones such as Waipahu.
(18) HB1523 Requires that rental fees for public school facilities be commensurate with market rates. Dedicates increased rental fees to public/private partnerships established within the school-to-work transition program.
(19) HB1524 Expands the high technology research and development loans and grants provided by the High Technology Development Corporation, to include matching grants for companies that receive small business technology transfer grants. Appropriates moneys for the expansion.
(20) HB1525 RELATING TO CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FORTY-FIRST REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT.
(21) House Concurrent Resolution 64 requests Hawaii’s hotels to provide facilities fro email and internet access for their guests.

In finance committee, the Lingle administration did not have their budget proposals again. The informational briefings were postponed in December 2002 so they could make a smooth transition and be ready by January 2003. It looks like the legislature will not see all of the Governor’s proposals until February 2003. The House of Representatives must deck the budget by March 18, 2003.

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Legislative Update


Last week friday I filed the last of my bills. Non-chair House members are allowed to have twenty bills filed. I will soon list my twenty bills. In addition, I a primary introducer and co-introducer on a number of other bills.

In the finance informational briefing, Representatives heard from DBEDT and DAGS. The departments are still in negotiations with the Governor regarding her five percent reductions and hiring freeze on all departments. The Governor is realizing how hard cutting government can be because of lives that are affected. An area of government I am trying to make more efficient is HTA and HVCB. I would like to see a more diversified approach in its marketing strategies.

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Legislative Update


Recently, I attended Governor Lingle's State of the State address.

In the meantime, I have been working tirelessly on my bills, many dealing with our economy. Fifteen of my bills were decked today. Last week, I personally met with Senators on the second floor to get my companion bills introduced. Usually staff would be doing this, but I felt it would be better if I personally pushed for my bills. Moreover, it gave me a chance to work with Senators who did not know me too well.

Today, the State of the Judiciary address was done by Chief Justice Moon. The Chief Justice had to correct an error Governor Lingle made in her State of the State address.

I got out of a finance briefing at 8:30 p.m.

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Opening of the 2003 Legislative Session


“Opening Day” for the 2003 Legislative Session was memorable. For entertainment, there was Korean dancing and Hawaiian music on the House floor.

In my office, we served spicy chicken, tofu salad, fried noodles, vegetables and dip, clam pasta, portugese bean soup, and desert. From 2:30 p.m. until about 8:30 p.m., I had meetings. In the early evening, I was happy to have the opportunity to “talk story” with former Chief Justice William S. Richardson. Tomorrow I will be busy from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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