We have a Senator here on Big Island who understands the importance of our environmental laws. (See response below.)
Remember, no matter what island you're on, you can bookmark http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/house/members/members.asp?press1=house&press2=members and http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/senate/members/members.asp?press1=senate&press2=members for fast and easy contact information to all legislators.
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 2:58 PM
Mahalo for taking the time to submit your thoughts and concerns regarding Senate Bill 989, the pending legislation that would extend the sunset date of Act 2, Second Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2007, which allows the Superferry to operate without an Environmental Impact Statement. The bill, as discussed in the Committee on Energy and Environment as well as the Committee on Transportation, International and Intergovernmental Affairs, will continue to undermine the environmental laws as found in Chapter 343 of the Hawai`i Revised Statutes. As you probably know, I voted against the bill that established Act 2, and I will continue to oppose the degradation of Hawai`i's environmental laws to benefit a single company. As intended, the Environmental Impact Statement is a fundamental step toward protecting our environment, and I refuse to support measures that circumvent valuable environmental policies. The Lingle Administration as well as the Department of Transportation had ample time to complete the EIS and any further attempts to accommodate a private business are truly unreasonable.
SB 989 was also referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations. In his wisdom, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Brian Taniguchi, has not scheduled the bill, and the deadline to do so has passed. Therefore, SB 989 can no longer be addressed during this session. However, I would bring to your attention that HB 1171, HD1, similar in intent as SB 989, is scheduled for final approval by the House of Representatives. I suggest you express your sentiments to the members of the House with respect to this measure.
As always, I truly appreciate your efforts to communicate your thoughts and opinions on this critical issue that affects our special home.
Senator Russell S. Kokubun