By Derrick DePledge
State Sen. Clayton Hee took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to note the oddity of the Senate leadership's appointments to a House-Senate conference committee on a news media shield law bill.
All five members of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee will serve on the conference. Hee, the chairman of the committee, said that Sen. Les Ihara, a supporter of a strong media shield law, was added after Ihara requested to serve on the conference. Hee said he then asked that Sen. Mike Gabbard be added so that there are an odd number of senators.
Hee, whose Senate draft would significantly weaken the shield law, said there is no rule against having all members of a committee serve on conference, "but it is out of the ordinary."
"There is a reasonable expectation that the conferees assigned to this conference, as well as all others, would represent the interests of the Senate position. There is an expectation that that will be done," Hee told Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. "And I promise you, that if that is not done, I shall ask you to take appropriate action."