By Derrick DePledge
Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced on Tuesday that he has vetoed seven bills in addition to a line-item veto in the state budget to help correct a bond declaration mistake.
The governor initially had 10 bills on his potential veto list, including a bill that would make public the financial disclosure statements of members of more than a dozen state boards and commissions. The governor has allowed that bill to become law without his signature.
Here are the vetoes, along with Abercrombie's justification:
· Senate Bill 60 (Relating to Victims of Crimes) – While Gov. Abercrombie supports the concept of restorative justice, he objected to this bill because, as written, it does not provide adequate protection for victims of domestic violence, child sexual assault, or elder abuse from intimidation, coercion, and manipulation by the offenders.
· Senate Bill 2431 (Relating to the Hawaii Tourism Authority) – Gov. Abercrombie vetoed this legislation because it makes permanent the provision of Act 58, Session Laws of Hawaii 2004, which takes away the checks and balances that ensure transparency in the operations of Hawaii Tourism Authority that the comptroller’s account supervision provides.
· Senate Bill 2589 (Relating to Law Enforcement) – The governor agrees with the underlying objectives of the bill to transfer the harbors law enforcement functions of the Department of Transportation Harbors Division to the Department of Public Safety, but believes both departments are already working collaboratively to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and that they should be allowed more time and opportunity to administratively implement the objectives of this legislation with duties and responsibilities being resolved through a memorandum of agreement.
· Senate Bill 2874 (Relating to the Board of Land and Natural Resources) – House Bill 1618 (Relating to the Composition of the Board of Land and Natural Resources), which Gov. Abercrombie signed into law (Act 104) on June 19, is substantially similar to this measure, so there is no necessity to also approve this bill.
· House Bill 1288 (Relating to Order of Succession) – The governor objected to this measure because it does not provide for succession in the situation when the Office of the Governor becomes permanently vacant at the same time as the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and the Senate President and the Speaker of the House belong to a political party different from that of the governor.
· House Bill 2163 (Relating to Parental Parity) – Gov. Abercrombie vetoed this bill because the rebuttable presumption that an asset given to a parent is a joint gift is vague, ambiguous and inconsistent with well-established principles guiding the parties and the courts in divorce matters.
· House Bill 2427 (Relating to the Repeal of Non-General Funds) – This measure repeals several funds, including the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR) Revolving Fund, which the governor believes should be retained and used by CLEAR instead of being deposited into the General Fund.