Friday, March 6, 2009

HB 1171...with audio of midnight hearing testimony

The House Finance Committee today at first did not post the new version and committee report of HB 1171 to the Legislative website, but has now. The bill is a different bill now. It is also intentionally incomplete and will require dates being added later. Legislative sausage is exactly what this thing is. Interestingly enough, there are still unconstitutional aspects of Act 2 left intact and even strengthened with this revised bill.

Re: Testimony audio on HB1171. I'll leave it up for [only] about a week because it's a pretty big file to store:


For the person who argued Act 2 before the State Supreme Court, this testimony either misrepresented or is shockingly ill-informed on Act 2's content:

The Deputy AG Ginoza misstated herself at least three times in this testimony. One, she started to say that the EIS comment period began on Feb. 23, and that we are in the 45 day comment period, which Formby corrected. Two, she implied that the Governor does not have the authority from Act 2 to add further EO mitigation conditions beyond EO 07-10, when Act 2 actually says that the Governor or Legislature can add further mitigation conditions, even though the Governor has not added anything from the RRA and OTF reports, which she could do at any time. Three, at the end of the tape Ginoza incorrectly said:
"Session ends in mid-July", wrong, Session ends the first week of May, Act 2 sunsets in mid-July.
2) Said "say the EIS is not accepted until August 1st," that cannot happen because Act 2 will have already sunset and if the EIS is not accepted by the sunset in mid-July, then the Act 2 EIS is a moot document.
3) Said "Act 2 contemplates that once the EIS is done, the large capacity ferries can operate," wrong, Act 2 clearly states that the EIS has to be accepted by the OEQC (and not just done) to be legally effective.
4) Said "It doesn't mean that just because the EIS wasn't completed before the end of mid-July that that's the end of the story," wrong, the Act 2 EIS has to be ACCEPTED OR NOT BY OEQC by the mid-July Act 2 sunset date.

In listening again to the audio of this testimony, I find further omissions and misstatements by the Deputy AG. In particular, in referring to Act 2, Section 18, regarding the repeal of Act 2, the Deputy AG verbally leaves out that the repeal is "on the earlier of" 45 days following sine die or acceptance of the final environmental impact statement. This is significant in that Act 2 can sunset before the EIS is completed or accepted, if it's preparers are behind schedule, as they have been for many months now. By the Deputy AG's above 4 point closing statement, she seems to be assuming that the sunset could be "on the latter of" the two requirements.

In listening to the many misstatements in this audio and also thinking back on the arguments before the Supreme Court, I have my doubts as to whether the Deputy AG has actually read and completely assimilated Act 2 in its entirety. This testimony would have been better given by just Formby who clearly has read and assimilated all of Act 2, or AG Bennett who drafted it. I find it interesting that AG Bennett did not formally defend before the SC nor is he testifying on his own work.

This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that this Act shall be repealed on the earlier of:

(1) The forty-fifth day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, following adjournment sine die of the regular session of 2009; or

(2) Upon acceptance of the final environmental impact statement as provided in this Act;


provided further that:

(1) The final environmental impact statement by the department of transportation that is accepted by the office of environmental quality control under this Act shall be and remain effective for all purposes under the laws of this state, notwithstanding the repeal of this Act; and

(2) Section 16 of this Act shall not be repealed when this Act is repealed.

I now look for the Supreme Court to wait until mid-May to rule on Act 2. Let all of these shenanigans clear out before they make their ruling.

Aloha, Brad

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