Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe) seconded a floor amendment to House Bill 622 extending Hawaii’s existing shield law for two years. She had initially anticipated offering an amendment personally to make the existing shield law permanent. In a gesture of collaboration with the coalition, Thielen instead seconded the amendment offered by House leadership.
“We have the best media shield law in the nation,” Rep. Thielen said. “The Senate amendments were a throwback to the pre-Internet age and an attempt to harm new media. This group of media provides such important information to the public and should be protected just like traditional journalists.”
In 2008, Rep. Gene Ward (R, Hawaii Kai-Kalama Valley), former Rep. Blake Oshiro and others co-introduced what became the current shield law, which is set to expire on June 30, 2013.
Ward introduced HB 465 this session to make the existing shield law permanent. Rep. Gregg Takayama (D, Pearl City-Waimalu-Pacific Palisades) is the first primary introducer of HB 622.
Video from the chamber floor: