Defective

March 4th, 2014
By

State lawmakers often insert defective dates in legislation -- dates far into the future -- to move bills along for further discussion or as strategic tools. Usually, the defective dates are not controversial.

Not on Tuesday in the state Senate.

Sen. Malama Solomon and Sen. Laura Thielen got embroiled in a rowdy debate in private caucus over the absence of a defective date in a bill on konohiki rights on Niihau.

Sources say senators had agreed to add a defective date in the bill in private caucus on Monday, but there was no amendment by Tuesday morning.

When Thielen brought the issue up in private caucus, sources say, Solomon, the chairwoman of the Senate Water and Land Committee, questioned her motivation.

"It was nasty," one senator said privately.

In conversations on the Senate floor, Solomon told colleagues that she did not want to be micromanaged. She said that, as chairwoman, she has her own strategy on bills. Not including the defective date, for example, could have forced a dialogue with the House after the bill crosses over later this week, since there is no House companion.

Senators later agreed to add a defective date of July 1, 2050 to the bill, which is up for a vote on Thursday.

"My point was, well, why don't we send it as is? And then it would give me some kind of flexibility so I could call the chair on the other side to say, `Why don't you just put in a defective date, so at least we can go to conference,'" Solomon said afterward. "That's a way to keep it alive."

She said that "Sen. Thielen has a way of getting really personal, and so does Sen. (Russell) Ruderman, when it comes to my legislation. It's like I'm trying to do something underhanded. So they're always using those kinds of loaded words.

"I just told them I didn't appreciate that. I don't think that you can facilitate a good discussion if people are going to be constantly using loaded words."

Thielen --  who also raised issues about other bills that moved through Solomon's committee, including a bill regulating solar projects on agricultural land -- declined to comment, noting that discussions between senators in private caucus are meant to be private.

(Ruderman, on the floor Tuesday, repeatedly described a bill that would help farmers sell products at retail outlets on agricultural land as "shady." Solomon's Senate Water and Land Committee was one of three committees to advance the bill.)

Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran and Sen. Jill Tokuda had some fun with the tension. They arranged the children's blocks on Tokuda's desk to read "Defectiv" -- the word of the day to continue discussion on legislation.

5 Responses to “Defective”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    Solomon said: ""My point was, well, why don't we send it as is? And then it would give me some kind of flexibility so I could call the chair on the other side to say, `Why don't you just put in a defective date, so at least we can go to conference,'" Solomon said afterward. "That's a way to keep it alive."

    That explanation makes no sense whatsoever.

    The whole purpose of a "defective effective date" is to ensure that there is dialogue on bills that are either controversial or in need of further work; without the defective date, and its ensuing removal, there will be no dialogue and the bill can't (or won't) pass, period. If you send a bill over to the other house with a non-defective date, you run the risk that the receiving house will pass the bill unamended and send it to the Governor without the originating house (here, the Senate) having any further chance for input.

    Malama is either not very bright (notwithstanding her Ph.D.), or not very articulate, or both. Or, perhaps more likely, she either messed up or tried to put one over on her colleagues and, when she got called on it, went all big body bully on them. That's pretty much her MO, think Mufi's my-way-or-the-highway-regardless-of-the-merits approach.

    As for Sen. Thielen, well, that's a whole 'nother subject.


  2. JohnDoe:

    Ruderman does not want farmers selling their products directly to the consumer because it will cut him out and take away from his business. Farmers selling direct will hamper his supermarket business. Ruderman is showing his greedy side instead of helping out farmers.


  3. sue:

    I have only witnessed Sen. Solomon in action once, in her committee public hearing. Alarmingly vicious, scarrry.


  4. Especially Incognito:

    snowden proves that he is a effective defect in Russia.

    I read that deffective effective dates include February 30th and 31st.
    29 days in February only on leap year.


  5. Andy Parx:

    Hey folks- seems Abercrombie thinks we're all are just "internet chatter" (note the use of a term used to describe discussion by terrorists)... same internet chatter that defeated his PLDC and Mufi last year... and may cook his goose if he gets any more insulting of his base.


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