By Derrick DePledge
State Senate leadership has expanded the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee by adding two new members.
Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria and Sen. Malama Solomon join Sen. Clayton Hee, the committee's chairman, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, the vice chairwoman, Sen. Les Ihara, Jr., Sen. Mike Gabbard and Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom.
The seven-member committee would have jurisdiction over a same-sex marriage bill.
The composition of the committee had been an issue during the debate over civil unions in 2009. Senate leaders had placed six members on Judiciary -- an even number -- and the committee eventually became deadlocked.
The two new members who have been appointed to Judiciary improve the vote count for same-sex marriage.
Hee, Shimabukuro and Ihara have said they favor same-sex marriage, while Gabbard and Slom are opposed.
By adding Galuteria and Solomon, who both favor same-sex marriage, the count jumps from 3 to 2 to 5 to 2.