House Republicans released an internal count today that found that an estimated 87 percent of oral testimony submitted to the Joint House Committee on Judiciary and Finance opposed Senate Bill 1. The unofficial count of 1,032 oral testifiers found 895 in opposition and 137 in support.
“It’s imperative that decision makers have an accurate picture of public sentiment before casting their votes,” said Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson. “A clear majority of Hawaii residents who dedicated hours, and in many cases days, to testify oppose the bill. Over the last five days of testimony, we heard again and again that this bill leaves too many questions for the courts to answer, that religious rights are not thoroughly protected, and that people feel rushed and frustrated by the process of this special session. We need to be sensitive to the many concerns and objections to this bill overwhelmingly expressed in the committee hearing,” he continued.
“This issue has inspired an unprecedented level of public involvement, and I hope that continues,” said Rep. Beth Fukumoto. “My concern with rushing this committee vote is that members have still not had the time to properly review the effects of the amendments or to review the many thousands of pages of written testimony to find and consider the opinions submitted by our own constituents. We spent many hours in the hearing, but the amount of time allowed by this special session is still completely insufficient.”
She continued, “It’s my hope that my colleagues will listen to the clear voices of our constituents and give this bill the time it deserves in a regular legislative session. The effects of this issue, especially upon religious rights, deserve more consideration to be properly examined.”
Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson serves as the House Minority Leader and Vice Chair of the House Committee on Finance. He represents the 31st House District covering Moanalua, Foster Village and Aiea. Rep. Beth Fukumoto serves as the House Minority Floor Leader and represents the 36th House District covering Mililani and Mililani Mauka.