Rep. Bob McDermott Addresses HB 840 – Relating to Financial Institutions

RELATING TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.
Report Title: Financial Institutions; Hawaii Banks; Powers; Fees
Description: Replaces individual fees for Hawaii banks and nondepositories for specific regulatory items with one assessment. Increases and clarifies bank powers. Clarifies the authority of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions. Effective 01/01/2112. (HD1)
2/11/2013 H Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on FIN with Representative(s) Fale, Hanohano voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) McDermott voting no (1) and Representative(s) Cachola, Har, C. Lee, McKelvey, Takai, Thielen excused (6).

ContacKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAt: repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Cheape addresses HB 174 – Relating to Food Labeling

RELATING TO FOOD LABELING.
Report Title: Genetically Engineered Organisms; Produce; Labeling; Import
Description: Requires all imported genetically engineered fresh produce sold in Hawaii to be labeled as “genetically engineered”. Requires disclosure of genetic engineering and compliance with recommendations of the Invasive Species Council upon import. Effective July 1, 2050. (HB174 HD1)

Reported from AGR (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 253) as amended in HD 1, recommending passage on Second Reading and referral to CPC.
2/8/2013 H Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on CPC with Representative(s) Fale, Fukumoto, Oshiro, Tsuji, Ward voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Cachola, Har, McDermott excused (3).

Contact: repcheape@capitol.hawaii.gov

Reps. Thielen and Ward Address HB 497 – Tax Credit

RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY.
Report Title:  Renewable Energy Technology; Tax Credit
Description:  Amends the tax credit for renewable energy technologies. Applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012. (HB497 HD1)

Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on CPC with Representative(s) Fale, Hanohano, Ward voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Cachola, Har, McDermott excused (3).

2/8/2013 H Bill scheduled to be heard by CPC on Monday, 02-11-13 3:30PM in House conference room 325.

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov or repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Ward addresses HB1368 – Relating to Education (General Excise tax)

RELATING TO EDUCATION.
Report Title: General Excise Tax; Use Tax
Description: Increases the General Excise Tax and Use Tax in certain instances by an unspecified amount. Directs the deposit of tax revenue into an unspecified account for unspecified purposes. Effective January 20, 2020. (HB1368 HD1)

2/8/2013 H Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on EDN with Representative(s) Evans, Hanohano, Hashem, Jordan, Morikawa voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Cheape, Fale, Fukumoto, Johanson, Thielen, Ward voting no (6) and Representative(s) Cachola, Har, McDermott excused (3).

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Fale addresses HB 357- Single-Use checkout Bag Fee

RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
Report Title: Environment; Environmental Protection; Single-Use Checkout Bags; Fee; Appropriation ($)
Description: Requires certain businesses in the State to collect a ten-cent fee for each single-use checkout bag provided to customers. Allows businesses to retain a specified portion of fees, subject to income and general excise taxes. Directs use of fee revenues to fund programs to mitigate the effects of single-use checkout bags and protect Hawaii’s fresh water supply. Establishes provisions relating to violations, injunctive and other relief, county ordinances, business reporting, and audit authority. Requires annual report to the Legislature. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2013. (HB357 HD1)

Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on CPC with Representative(s) Aquino, Cabanilla, Cheape, Cullen, Hashem, Johanson, Morikawa, Ward, Yamane voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Fale, Fukumoto, Hanohano, Jordan, Oshiro voting no (5) and Representative(s) Cachola, Har, McDermott excused (3).
2/8/2013 H Bill scheduled to be heard by CPC on Monday, 02-11-13 3:30PM in House conference room 325.

Contact: repfale@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV

Representative Lauren Cheape Says Labeling of Imported GMO Whole Produce a Good Compromise to Help Both Consumers and Farmers

Original bill draft overlooked practical challenges facing small farms

Image Representative Lauren Kealohilani Cheape made the following statement today regarding the House Committee on Agriculture’s passage of House Bill 174 requiring labeling of genetically modified food in Hawaii:

“Having grown up on a farm and now representing a largely agricultural district, my first priority is providing local food for local people,” said Rep. Cheape. “I believe that consumers have a right to know what is in their food, but for local agriculture to succeed long-term in Hawaii, the practical costs to Hawaii’s small farmers must also be considered.”

“I’m pleased with today’s amendments to require labeling on only imported genetically modified whole fruits and vegetables. The original bill would have placed a burden on local livestock farmers to determine the conditions under which animal feed and all other components produced prior to use by the local farmer were created. Assuring the absence of GMOs throughout the entire process would have cost time and resources that many farmers cannot afford,” she continued.

“There has been a loud cry from the community on this issue,” she said. “I feel it is our responsibility as lawmakers to listen and take a small step forward in providing Hawaii consumers the ability to receive more information about their food without hurting local farmers.”

Rep. Cheape’s great-grandfather started Peterson’s Upland Farm in 1910 that her family continues to own and operate. She represents District 45, which includes Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres and Mililani.

Rep. Thielen addresses HB154 relating to industrial hemp

(Broadcast quality Feb.-6-2013 — Please note that the House Sergeant-at-Arms has been notified to the brightness of the broadcast during the session and will adjust the contrast to correct the problem in the future ) Excerpt from Capitol TV.

RELATING TO INDUSTRIAL HEMP.
Report Title: Two-Year Industrial Hemp Remediation Pilot Program ($)
Description: Authorizes the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation pilot program. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2050. (HB154 HD1)

2/6/2013 Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on CPC with Representative(s) Choy, Fale, Tokioka, Ward voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Har voting no (1) and Representative(s) Cachola, Say excused (2).

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

Rep. Thielen discusses Hemp Technologies ( taped in 2010)

Representative Cynthia  Thielen discusses Hemp Technologies with Greg Flavall and Jay Fidell.  For more information visit the website www.hemtecusa.com

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5btreRx4PU Part 1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrZBAx6yQ34  Part II

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAro3tClUVg Part III

 

 

McDermott’s Message – Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA)

Rep. McDermott: after nine years of development, new principal evaluation process still flunks

Last week the State Department of Education finally released the criteria for principal evaluations, which were agreed to by HGEA. See the Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA) at http://doe.k12.hi.us/cessa/index.htm.

“I have read this document cover to cover; it is glaringly short of specific quantifications and long on subjective evaluations. It has no teeth, and therefore little real justification,” said Representative Bob McDermott.

It took nine years to complete a simple 30 page agreement, which is a staggering example of the dysfunction that we are accepting and tolerating each and every day from our educational system. To put it in perspective, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo took seven years to complete. The principal evaluation document was agreed to and released 12/12/2012 but set to begin at the beginning of the fall semester. It makes no sense; the principals already have grounds to dispute a poor evaluation due to the faulty implementation of the new agreement. This is a huge embarrassment that reflects on the current culture of our aimless and flawed education system.

The evaluation for the principals is broken down into two areas, starting with the area of student achievement. Seems pretty straight forward right? Wrong. This portion of the evaluation only counts for 50% of their review and includes not just test scores and graduation rates; it also contains such highly subjective measurements as the ambiguous Professional Portfolio of Artifacts, use of grading policy, special recognition and accomplishments; and multiple measures of student learning. This is the tough part of the evaluation.

The second part of the evaluation goes from bad to laughable. The “hard hitting requirements” like keeping a professional journal; reflection time; interviews/questionnaires, observations, news clippings, and letters of support, to name a few, all seem designed to give poor performers ample wiggle room to keep their job despite poor performance.

It gets even worse, I have zero confidence this document can be complied legally by either party due to the amount of paperwork and time required by each party. Pages and pages are devoted to counseling, conferencing and the back and forth communications. The administrative load for both parties is neither practical nor workable. It was destined to fail.
This entire exercise, and the absolutely unacceptable time it took to complete, is yet another case for principals to be removed from the Union. They should be given more authority and ownership, and then held to rigorous, clear, clean, crisp performance metrics.

Let me suggest the following: We give every principal a substantial per year raise while removing them from collective bargaining while preserving their civil service protection. We then measure them on some pretty straightforward things like graduation rates, attendance rates, discipline issues, and finally the much maligned standardized test scores. We compile the respective measurements in all of the above criteria, using a three year average to determine the starting baseline, and then look for improvement.

contact: repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov

House Republicans Caution that a Sudden Minimum Wage Increase Could Put People Out of Work

ImageThe House Minority Caucus urged caution today as two bills to increase the minimum wage to 120 percent its current level passed the Labor & Public Employment and Economic Development & Business committees.

“The Minority Caucus would like to see higher rates of employment and higher incomes for all workers across our state, but we’re concerned that Hawaii is still recovering from a bad recession. We should first focus on reducing people’s cost of living and growing our entire economy so employers can afford to increase wages without going out of business,” said Minority Leader Aaron Ling Johanson.

“Hawaii’s economy is getting stronger but is still on shaky ground,” said Representative Gene Ward, Vice Chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Business. “Many of these jobs won’t exist if employers are pushed too far. I echo the business community’s concerns that a 20 percent increase on January 1, 2014 could be too much too soon.”

HB 916, introduced at the request of Governor Neil Abercrombie, would require employers to pay at least $8.75 per hour beginning January 1, 2014 and would be tied to the consumer price index indefinitely. HB 1028 was amended to increase the minimum wage to the same level by 50 cents per year until 2016. The state last increased its minimum wage to $7.25 in 2007.