Representative Cynthia Thielen addresses H.B. No. 2121, Renewable Energy Systems

Representative Cynthia Thielen addresses Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 592-12 H.B. No. 2121, H.D. 1 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. (Renewable Energy Systems; Government Contracts; GO Bonds) AS AMENDED, PASS SECOND READING, REFER TO FINANCE

The purpose of this bill is to promote the government’s use of renewable energy technologies by:
• Prohibiting government agencies from contracting with private energy providers that claim the renewable energy technologies tax credit;
• Authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds to purchase renewable energy systems for state facilities.

This bill would undermine the benefits of power purchase agreements between government agencies and the private sector. These partnerships significantly reduce utility expenses for agencies with no up-front costs for the State. Testimony was overwhelmingly opposed to this measure.
According to DOE, this measure would significantly delay installation of renewable energy systems at schools. It would require $160 million in general obligation bonds to complete installations of photovoltaic systems statewide, and energy savings would be offset by debt service. Power purchase agreements, by contrast, can reduce DOE’s energy costs by 50 percent at current rates, with no up-front costs for the State.

Contact: Repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

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Representative Cynthia Thielen H.B. No. 2570, – Dietitians; Licensing

Representative Cynthia Thielen addresses Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 560-12 H.B. No. 2570, H.D. 2 RELATING TO LICENSING OF DIETITIANS.(Dietitians; Licensing)
AS AMENDED, REFER TO FINANCE

We should consider all available options for nutrition services. Not all practitioners are dietitians and should not be forced to register as such. This bill is an attempt to monopolize nutritional services in Hawaii. Dietetics is only a small part of the nutrition industry.
Per the American Nutrition Association, this bill would negatively impact an already-struggling Hawaii economy and our state’s obesity problem, and would effectively eliminate an entire profession and removes all competition in the field of nutrition services. Specifically:
• It needlessly eliminates the jobs of countless nutrition and related healthcare professionals for the sole benefit of Registered Dieticians and their trade group, the American Dietetic Assn.
• It increases healthcare costs by removing competition and patient options in the field of nutritional healthcare services.
• It restricts patient access to services and information on nutrition and nutrition services and jeopardizes nutrition-based businesses.
• It results in the criminalization of nutrition counseling beyond nutritionists for many highly trained professionals, including potentially chiropractors, naturopaths, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Contact: rep Thielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

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Rep. Thielen and Riviere Addresses HB2611 Environmental Impact Statements

Representative Cynthia Thielen and Gil Riviere Addresses H.B. No. 2611, H.D. 1 Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 590-12 RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS.(Environmental Impact Statements, Exceptions) AS AMENDED, REFER TO JUDICIARY

The purpose of this bill is to:
• Exempt secondary actions from HRS chapter 343 (EIS Statements) if they are ancillary and limited to the installation, improvement, renovation, construction or development of infrastructure within an existing public right-of-way or highway.
• Require an applicant to prepare environmental assessments when the proposed action is not exempt under HRS 343-6.
• Require that when there is uncertainty as to what agency shall require an assessment, then the Office of Environmental Quality Control is to determine whether the preparation of the assessment by an applicant is required
A similar law passed as Act 87 (2009), and was automatically repealed in 2011. Gov. Lingle signed the Act. HB2611, however, tries to make permanent changes.
Note: The bill has several technical flaws. Most significantly, there is no effective date. The bill also attempts to amend a chapter that does not seem to exist anymore. The current version of this bill, HD1, incorporates amendments suggested by Office of Environmental Quality Control. Rep. Thielen voted “no” and Rep. Riviere voted “WR.” They believe the bill is unnecessary because the backlog of minor work projects reviews is caused by DOT inefficiency, not excessive environmental regulations under Chapter 343. Bill is unnecessary because minor highway improvements are already exempted from environmental reviews by Chapter 343.

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

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Rep. Pine Addresses H.B. No. 2121 – Renewable Energy Systems;

Representative Pine Addresses H.B. No. 2121, H.D. 1 Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 592-12 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY.
(Renewable Energy Systems; Government Contracts; GO Bonds) AS AMENDED, PASS SECOND READING, REFER TO FINANCE

his bill would undermine the benefits of power purchase agreements between government agencies and the private sector. These partnerships significantly reduce utility expenses for agencies with no up-front costs for the State. Testimony was overwhelmingly opposed to this measure.
According to DOE, this measure would significantly delay installation of renewable energy systems at schools. It would require $160 million in general obligation bonds to complete installations of photovoltaic systems statewide, and energy savings would be offset by debt service. Power purchase agreements, by contrast, can reduce DOE’s energy costs by 50 percent at current rates, with no up-front costs for the State.

Contact RepPine@capitol.hawaii.gov

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Rep. Barbara Marumoto addresses H.B. No. 2575 – Elevator Safety Law

Representative Barbara Marumoto addresses H.B. No. 2575, H.D. 2 Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 597-12 RELATING TO THE BOILER AND ELEVATOR SAFETY LAW.(Boiler and Elevator Safety Law; Special Fund; Appropriation)
AS AMENDED, REFER TO FINANCE

The purpose of the bill is to establish a hospital sustainability fee and a special fund to receive moneys from the hospital sustainability fee so that the State may be eligible to receive federal Medicaid matching funds under the QUEST Expanded Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver. It also requires the Department of Human Services to charge and collect a provider fee from hospitals on health care items or services provided. The bill requires a fee increase

contact: repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov

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Representative Gil Riviere addresses H.B. No. 1875 – Mortgage Foreclosures

Representative Gil Riviere addresses H.B. No. 1875, H.D. 1 Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 626-12 RELATING TO FORECLOSURES. (Mortgage Foreclosures; Homeowner Association Liens and Assessments) AS AMENDED, PASS SECOND READING, REFER TO FINANCE

Despite the attempts at reform, the recommendations still give defaulting homeowners 6 months to avoid a judicial sale; this is too long. The provisions regarding AOAOs unfairly penalize them. The AOAO should not be treated as a lender; rather, they are innocent victims. AOAOs were not involved in the original mortgage loan terms. Because the bill would allow defaulting homeowners to stay in their homes for 6 months before foreclosure, the AOAO has to wait a long time to get any financial relief. AOAOs are among the most patient and forgiving creditors, yet they need a way to get the property immediately rented out to “stop the bleeding” caused by delinquent payment of association fees.
The bill poses a constitutional challenge because it impairs the performance of contracts. AOAOs and planned community associations have many responsibilities, including maintenance of common roads, sewers, etc. This bill would take away their ability to collect fines and late fees. The bill’s foreclosure notice provisions (“daily” publication in print media) may have unintended consequences: the cost of giving notice in print publications has become sky-high — as much as $3,500 to $4,000.

Contact: repriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov

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