By Derrick DePledge
State House and Senate leaders extended a lifeline on Monday to a bill that would create a manufacturing tax credit, but one senator decided to let the bill go.
Rep. Clift Tsuji and other House negotiators were in Room 329 for the afternoon conference committee hearing and were ready to approve a new draft. Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, the lead Senate negotiator on the bill, chose to stay in his office.
The new draft would have offered manufacturers a 15 percent tax credit on new equipment, capped at $15,000 a year. The estimated cost to the state would be about $1 million a year.
Symbolically, House negotiators agreed to accept the last Senate draft of the bill, an unfinished product that has blank amounts for the tax credit and a defective date of July 1, 2050.
Rep. Sylvia Luke said House negotiators moved to agree "because we want to show the public that this is an important bill."
The full House has the option of approving the Senate draft and -- if the bill becomes law -- lawmakers could fix the defects next session.
Sherry Menor-McNamara, the president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, which supported the tax credit, was among several people who appealed to Dela Cruz to show up.
Dela Cruz could not immediately be reached for comment, but he did tell people on Monday that he thought other bills should also have been given an extension from the Friday deadline on conference committee negotiations.
Sources said privately that Dela Cruz was also unhappy he had not been notified that talks on the manufacturing tax credit bill were being revived.
The House could potentially retaliate by going after one of Dela Cruz's bills.