Category Archives for "Legislation"

November 5, 2017

Tax Reform and the Impact on Nonprofits

 Yesterday, the Speaker of the House and Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled their tax reform plan, Tax Cuts and Job Plan (H.R. 1).  The plan seeks to reduce tax revenue by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. To make up the budget shortfall, money will be raised off the backs of nonprofits in the following ways:
Weakening the Johnson Amendment
The plan proposes that houses of worship and their auxiliary organizations be exempt from the Johnson Amendment, allowing them to more easily endorse candidates and engage in politics.
Reducing Charitable Giving Incentives
The proposal more than doubles the standard deduction, reducing the need for Americans to itemize and to be charitable. It is estimated that 95% of Americans will not have this incentive any longer and that it could result in a loss of revenue to the charitable sector of $13 Billion.
Massive Spending Cuts to Domestic Spending
The cuts to taxes benefit the wealthiest among us and will mean cuts to domestic spending and ultimately to our communities.
Next Steps of this Legislation
The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to start its review of the bill, called a “markup,” on Monday, Nov. 6, and continue with marathon sessions until completing action during the week. The bill is then expected to go to the House floor during the week of Nov. 13. The Senate is expected to release its separate version in mid-November. The stated goal of Republican leaders is to have a bill on the President’s desk by Christmas for signing before New Year’s Day.
Voice your opinions now and throughout this process. It is important for the nonprofit sector voice to be heard, collectively and individually. Our communities will be directly impacted by these devastating changes. Contact House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Congressman Kevin Brady’s office:

Our national affiliate, the National Council of Nonprofits is exercising its muscle on our behalf. See its special edition of Nonprofit Advocacy Matters, which outlines these and other aspects of the legislation clearly.
And other publications where the Council provides a clear voice of opposition.
Be vigilant and let your voices be heard.
Courtesy of HANO
October 30, 2017

A message from Save Our Neighborhoods

Dear SONnies and Friends of O’ahu’s residential neighborhoods,

Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list


PLEASE SEND TESTIMONY, ATTEND AND TESTIFY at this important Council Meeting:

Wednesday, Nov 1  10:00 am  Council Chambers Honolulu Hale (these resolutions are well down the agenda, so you should be safe arriving at 1:30 which is the end of the scheduled lunch recess)

Last week, the Honolulu City Council Committee on Zoning kicked the can down the road to the full council by passing ALL FOUR STR (Short-Term Rental) resolutions to this Wednesday’s meeting.

Many of you submitted testimony and testified in-person at the Zoning Committee meeting – thanks very much.  Many of you did not.


The 9,000 + illegal STRs are not only a blight on neighborhood life, STRs are one of the major causes of high rents and homelessness for the working poor.


These bills are the showdown for our neighborhoods and housing for everyone living O’ahu.  For a quick estimate of how many short-term rentals (STR) are in your neighborhood, click and type in your 5-digit zip code.  Then scout around other O’ahu zip codes and you will see that there are THOUSANDS more.  This site may not be 100% accurate but also does not cover all hosting platforms – many operators are not listed on the major hosting platforms and are not shown.  Remember, most of these are ILLEGAL under Honolulu zoning law and are removing much-needed rental housing from local families.


There are two forces at work here; 1) Those trying to turn our residential neighborhoods into mini-hotels.  They will be supporting 163 and 301.  They include current-illegal operators, those providing services to illegal operators or otherwise making $$ from them, and their political backers who have friends/supporters in this industry, and 2) Those of us working to preserve/return residential-zoned housing for O’ahu’s families and insisting that the City enforce the existing law forbidding short-term rentals.  We support 052 & 164.



Resolution 17-052 CD-1 (Menor – our favorite Reso)

  • Changes the basis of the existing law from “provide” (a Short-term rental) to “offer”, which will allow advertising to be used as proof.
  • Allows neighbor to go to state court to force the DPP to enforce the law against illegal vacation rentals
  • Fine proceeds to go to the DPP for enforcement
  • Makes DPP’s records on enforcement open to public scrutiny
  • Allow neighbor to directly sue the offending STR operator
  • Requires hosting platforms to report STR property information to the DPP

Resolution 17-163 (Martin – permitting – boo)

  • Adds a permitting process for new TVRs
  • No neighbor community input in permitting process
  • No specified limits on # of permits.
  • Holds owner responsible for advertising content, which cannot be enforced without major investigation effort
  • Adds Enforcement techniques untried and unlikely to work

Resolution 17-164 (Martin – enforcement only)

  • Stricter rules for advertising
  • Makes it easier for City to collect fines and liens against offenders
  • Could be a good starting point for discussion.
  • Some enforcement measures

Resolution 17-301 (Anderson – permitting – boo)

  • No community input.
  • Would turn R5 neighborhoods into resorts without proper rezoning. Would work against long-term rentals and affordable housing. Also would work against the ADU bills just passed by the city.
  • Who would enforce to ensure that the owner actually lives there and is on site full-time?
  • Forcing people to have to file police complaints means they have to take time off of work to go to court. Puts additional burden on the police and takes them away from investigating serious crime.

This is the last step in the Council.  Resolutions passed will be transmitted to the Honolulu Planning Commission and then back to the Council in bill form for final consideration and then to the mayor for signing into law.




The main problem with enforcement has been lack of political willpower on the part of administration/corporation counsel/DPP over the past 20 years of the Internet.  For example, in a recent letter from the mayor to a neighborhood board member, Caldwell writes: “As you may know, the public is currently divided on whether short term rentals in stable residential neighborhoods is a good idea.”   This is just not true.  Over the past 10 years, public opinion has swayed the Council and the Legislature in numerous showdowns that the residential public is adamantly opposed to this invasion of our residential neighborhoods, loss of housing, disruption, and the constant flow of overnight strangers.




Even if you do not sign up in advance or at the meeting, you can still testify after all the registered speakers testify.


For the past 12 years, SONHawai’i has been pushing the city to enforce the land use laws to shut down these illegal hotel operations in our residential neighborhoods.  SONHawai’i’s and the residential public’s position is reasonable and clear:




That means shutting down the thousands of currently-illegal operations and putting the horse back in front of the cart.  Two of these resolutions (052 & 164) will help make that possible.


One minute PER Agenda item – 4 min total.


Please also right now Submit the testimony form and add your own comments. This does not have to be word-for-word the same testimony that you give in person at the meeting. Remember, there are FOUR items to submit testimony, so submit the form FOUR times, once for 17-052 (SUPPORT), once for 17-163 (OPPOSE), once for 17-164 (SUPPORT and add comment to combine with 052) and lastly for 17-301 (OPPOSE).  The link to the testimony form is: which is sometimes slow to load – after you ‘submit’ for one item, hit the  <  (back button) to return to the previous page, change the reso number, fill the form again then click ‘submit’ again.


Some of last week’s testimonies submitted through the above portal did not get posted on the Council website!


So, to make sure that all nine councilmembers see your written testimony, send them all an email of your testimony by pasting all the following addresses in the “to” line of your email:;;;;;;;;

Submit right away so that councilmembers will see it in time!


Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list. Include associations, housing & homelessness advocates, social organizations and neighborhood groups – this affects us all.

Like us on Facebook

   We have prevailed each time in the past, but it takes some effort – especially YOUR effort

Please, help right now to Save O’ahu’s Neighborhoods

Larry Bartley,

Executive Director

Congressional Mischief? Wildfire Management and new urban forestry

This is an excellent article on wildfires in the Western United States. It points out the problems facing new urban forestry and the effects of climate change caused mega-wildfires.

The problem is immense. Over half the Forest Service Budget goes to fighting wildfires. As summers become longer fuels dryout sooner and uncontrollable wildfires rage. The interface between homes and forests become a disaster waiting to happen and many forest ecologist predict that over half of western forests will be converted to grassland in the next 50 years.

Thinning and fuel reduction can help reduce the danger in the urban forest interface, but this article points out the problems generated when lobbyist promote logging company interest over sound forest management.



Protect our reef

MAHALO REEF WILDLIFE PROTECTORS!! Special mahalo to Leilani. Check out her great letter to the editor:

TO DO.  Please contact the Governor regarding SB1240 the Reef Wildlife Protection bill. Now would be a great time for more letters to the editor. It’s easy. Call Gov. Ige at 586-0034. Or submit comments or a request for a bill signing ceremony at To submit a letter, go to

OUR CONCERN.  We have not yet heard back any positive news from the administration, only the negative spin from the State agency that has opposed the bill (DLNR / DAR) since it was first heard at the legislature. Despite data, public support and a global crisis in coral reef health and massive decline in marine animal populations, DLNR / DAR representatives continue to promote commercial extraction of reef wildlife. DLNR / DAR has bizarrely claimed there are no significant environmental impacts caused by the extraction of 1-5 million wild animals per year. It’s as if representatives within the state agency are in denial and cannot recognize the effects of massive extraction of reef wildlife despite all evidence. 

The agency representatives do seem to recognize the reefs are at risk because of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing for food. And while it’s great the DLNR now protects rock, coral and sea cucumber from commercial collection they have failed time and time again to protect all other critical wildlife, including fish, eels, crabs, octopus, shark and thousands of animal species. Change is long overdue and time is running out. 

Thanks again for your help!


TALK AT HANAUMA:  This Thursday (tomorrow), as part of a month of lectures about Papahānaumokuākea at Hanauma Bay’s Theatre Thursdays, you can hear from Kalani Quiocho, Native Hawaiian Specialist for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The lecture is from 6:30 PM to 7:30 pm at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Theater, 100 Hanauma Bay Rd (off Kalanianaʻole Hwy.).

Admission and parking are free.

VOLUNTEER: For information on a Volunteer Opportunity at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Battle of Midway National Memorial (NM):


APPLY FOR SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL:  NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is currently recruiting members for the Sanctuary Advisory Council.  The sanctuary is seeking to fill the following seats:

  • Business/commerce (primary)
  • Business/commerce (alternate)
  • Conservation (alternate)
  • Lāna‛i Island (alternate)
  • Maui Island (alternate)
  • Moloka‛i Island (primary)
  • Moloka‛i Island (alternate)
  • Native Hawaiian (primary)
  • O‛ahu Island (alternate)
  • Ocean Recreation (alternate)
  • Tourism (primary)

The council is a community-based advisory group consisting of representatives from various user groups, government agencies and the public at large. The council provides advice to sanctuary management on the management and protection of the sanctuary. The council also serves as a liaison to the community regarding sanctuary issues and acts as a conduit, relaying the community’s interests, concerns and management needs to the sanctuary. Council members serve three-year terms which are staggered to allow for continuity within the council.

The deadline for application submittal is May 31, 2017.  For more information and to download an application, please visit or contact Shannon Ruseborn at


Applications are due by Wednesday, May 31. 

May 3, 2017

Join the fight to stop Trump’s Executive Order removing all restrictions on offshore drilling.

Offshore drilling - Worth the risk?

I don’t usually post a request for money even when it is from an organization I support. This is so important it cannot be ignored. Fighting Trumps EO promoting uncontrolled offshore drilling is something we must do. Also, this is a request from the League of Conservation Voters. One of the objectives of the Hawaii Environmental Hui is to set up a Hawaii Chapter of LCV as soon as we have enough members in our mailing list to justify forming an LCV Chapter.

Bill — Last Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order potentially opening all of our coasts to offshore drilling, which would put at risk marine life, coastal economies, ways of life, and our global climate.

Today, for the first time in our 48-year history, the League of Conservation Voters has filed a legal challenge to the Executive Order.

We’re suing the Trump Administration to defend permanent protections against offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

We need your help. We’re hoping we can raise $50,000 by midnight Friday to ensure we have enough for the fight ahead. If everyone reading this donated, we’d blow through that goal in minutes.

Help LCV stop new offshore drilling. Chip in to help LCV’s legal efforts and all our work to stop Trump »

Last December, President Obama responded to widespread opposition to offshore drilling by establishing permanent protections to prevent drilling in virtually the entire Arctic Ocean and especially sensitive parts of the Atlantic Ocean. LCV helped lead the advocacy campaign to persuade Obama to take this bold step for our coasts and our climate.

But now Donald Trump is trying to roll back the entire Obama environmental legacy, including the permanent protections he established against offshore drilling. Buried within Trump’s Executive Order that would radically expand offshore drilling is a section purporting to reverse President Obama’s permanent protections for the Arctic and Atlantic. The problem is, there is no provision in law authorizing a president to revoke those protections — that’s what we’re challenging.

This legal fight could last years. At the same time, other parts of Trump’s order direct his administration to expand offshore drilling to ALL of our coasts while revising or eliminating drilling safety standards. We’re also battling legislation in Congress that would allow Big Oil to drill everywhere off our nation’s beaches. So we need your help.

So why are we suing for the first time in our history? In a country where conservation and environmental safeguards are at risk as never before, we simply cannot afford to leave any tool in the toolbox. The only way we can pull it all off is with your help. Please, Bill: the environment is counting on you.

Help LCV take on the Trump Administration and stop new offshore drilling »

So we will continue to see you at the ballot box, in the states and the streets, and in the halls of Congress.

But now we will see Mr. Trump in court too.

Gene Karpinski
League of Conservation Voters

Join the fight to save the earth

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May 2, 2017

Hawai`i Legislature Contemplates Return of PLDC

Coconut Island in Hilo BaySeveral years ago the legislature created the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC). The legislation gave the PLDC the authority to enter into public/private partnerships to develop state land without regard to any regulations even county zoning and building codes.  There was such a backlash the legislature repealed the PLDC law. Now the Legislature appears to some to be bringing back the PLDC concept using a different vehicle. Next week the Senate and the House will vote on the conference draft, HB1469 HD1 SD2 CD1.

Go to Ililani Media for more detail. Click the button below.
Read More

May 2, 2017

Protect reef wildlife


Protect our reef

Aloha Reef Wildlife friends.

Our bill to protect reef wildlife needs Governor Igeʻs signature

We have come so far. The final language for SB1240 can be seen here.

The great news is the State House and Senate will vote, perhaps tomorrow, on the final bill. Your efforts to reach out to your legislators really made a difference to protect reef wildlife and the reefs themselves. Please try today to thank your legislator and make sure they vote to support SB1240. While the final version is weaker than the House version, it reflects a compromise that will phase out the commercial aquarium industry, which captures and takes 1-5 million animals every year.

One thing, in particular, you can do is contact Governor Ige to make sure he is on board. The state agency in charge of protecting reef wildlife has not been able to protect Hawaii resources for decades; commercial aquarium collection interests have been promoted at the expense of reef wildlife, reef health, and the public interests. This bill can change that.

Please ask Governor to sign SB1240 as soon as possible.

You can also ask him to schedule a bill signing ceremony to showcase the State’s commitment to protecting wildlife, coral reefs and marine resources. Go to the general website (, send a written message by going to and call 586-0034.

We are very close. MAHALO!


Please share this with your friends.

February 6, 2017

State Legislation -2017

Good Bills 2017
is a busy day for hearings on bills to:
protect human health, bees, butterflies – HB 1282, HB 253, HB 1571, HB 790
have the right to clean drinking water – HB 1582
protect our islands’ shorelines – HB 437
Submit testimony online for one or more bills:

If this is your first time submitting testimony, you need to register.  Use this link and click Register in the top right hand corner of the page:

In the middle of the next page there will be blanks to type your name, email address, verify email address, type in a password, click box to agree to the terms of a privacy agreement, and click box to “create user.”
Hearing Tuesday 2/7:
The purpose of HB 1282 is to:
  • Protect pollinators, including honeybees, native honeycreeper birds, Hawaiian yellow-faced bees, and the Kamehameha butterfly.
  • Help prevent the loss of biodiversity including the loss of the milkweed plant, a key food source for the monarch butterfly.
  • Grant each county the authority to adopt a rule or ordinance placing stricter limitations on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides or glyphosate herbicides than found in HRS 149A (Hawaii Pesticides Law)
  • Prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides or glyphosate herbicide weed killers, without a state or federally issued license or State permit.
  • Bees that feed on neonicotinoid-contaminated pollen and nectar forage less and produce fewer offspring, according to new scientific studies.
  • In 2013 the European Union voted to suspend the use of neonicotinoids.
  • In 2015 the EPA put a moratorium on approvals for new outdoor uses of neonicotinoids
  • Since 2016 the US Fish and Wildlife Service has prohibited uses of neonicotinoid pesticides
  • Neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine.  Like nicotine, the neonicotinoids act on certain kinds of receptors in the nerve synapses and are much more toxic to invertebrates, like insects, than they are to mammals.
The purpose of HB 253 is to ban the use of pesticides containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos
  • In 2014 the EPA issued a revised human health risk assessment showing potential risks to drinking water and human health where chlorpyrifos is used
  • According to the EPA chlorpyrifos can over-stimulate the nervous system, causing nausea, dizziness and at very high exposures, respiratory paralysis or death.
  • Scientific studies show that children or pregnant women exposed to chlorpyrifos in small amounts my cause development delays, permanently reduced cognitive capacity and learning disabilities.
  • Chlorpyrifos, introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical Company, is used to control many different kinds of pests and is known by many trade names including Dursban and Lorsban.
The purpose of HB 1571 is to protect the State’s children from unintended impacts of large-scale agricultural pesticide use by:
  • Making the reporting guidelines of the Kauai agricultural good neighbor program mandatory for large-scale, outdoor commercial agricultural operations on each island.
  • Establishing disclosure and public notification requirements for outdoor applications of pesticides near schools, healthcare, childcare, eldercare facilities and other sensitive areas
  • Establishing a pilot program of vegetative buffer zones around selected schools on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii and Molokai.
  • Children can unknowingly be exposed to pesticides applied on school ground, pesticides that drift onto school grounds and pesticide residues.
  • Currently, the State does not have an adequate regulatory structure in place to monitor the impacts on human health of pesticide drift
  • The State lacks sufficient data on pesticide use and human and environmental exposure.
  • The direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the environment and human health related to long-term intensive commercial use of pesticides has not been properly or independently evaluated
Hearing Tuesday 2/7:  
The purpose of HB 790 is to protect children, human health, and the environment by adding a new section to HRS 149A.  To be added in HRS 149A-B Pesticide Mandatory Disclosure are:
  • Mandatory disclosure and notification of outdoor pesticide use on affected school grounds; notify parents; keep records of and report pesticide outdoor use.
  • Mandatory disclosure of any commercial agricultural pesticide purchases; use of all pesticides. Requires public posting of pesticide outdoor application; public warning signs; 24-hour resident notification.
  • Public warning signs shall remain posted during outdoor application of any pesticide and until expiration of the applicable restricted-entry interval established by EPA.
  • Requires rules for listing pesticides used outdoor; total quantities used for each pesticide; description of area where pesticide was used
  • Grants Dept. of Health authority to levy fines for each day of violation and grants citizens right to bring a lawsuit.
  • Allows counties to regulate pesticide notification, pesticide use and establishment of buffer zones
Hearing Tuesday 2/7:   COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
The purpose of this proposed amendment to Article 1, section 2 Rights of Individuals of the State Constitution is:
  • To allow the people of Hawaii an opportunity to affirm the importance of access to basic necessities for themselves and future generations
  • Provide guidance to elected leaders to boldly address these growing challenges
  • Ensure the individual rights of all people to clean drinking water, meaningful healthcare, and a quality education
  • The question on the ballot will be: “Shall the state constitution be amended to ensure that access to clean water, meaningful health care, and a quality education are among the inherent and inalienable rights of individuals?”
Hearing Tuesday 2/7:
HB 437 helps protect our state’s coastlines.
(d)  No variance for the construction of a seawall in the shoreline area shall be approved unless the applicant demonstrates that the seawall is necessary to protect an existing legal object, structure, or activity from damage due to seawater inundation or shoreline erosion and the object or structure cannot reasonably be protected by relocating it outside of the shoreline area.
To determine whether a variance for a seawall may be approved, the authority shall consider:
(1) The feasibility and cost of relocating the relevant structures, objects, or activities outside of the shoreline area;
(2) The likelihood that damage will occur if the seawall is not constructed and the likely severity of that damage; and
(3) The availability of alternate means to protect the relevant objects, structures, or activities.
Recommend that:
  • numbers (1) and (2) be deleted from this bill because it will always be too expensive to move a house or hotel near the shoreline
  • number (3) be kept to ensure that alternatives to seawalls, which alter and harden the shoreline and cause sand erosion from beaches, are evaluated before granting a variance for a seawall

Submitted by Hawaii Thousand Friends


January 5, 2017

Hawaii 2017 State Legislative Calendar

The 2017 Legislative Session is just around the corner (Opening Day is January 18th), and the calendar of deadlines has now been published. Attached is Public Access Room’s (PAR’s) 2017 Session Calendar in an easy-to-read format, with explanations of the deadlines appearing on the second page.

This and other helpful handouts are posted on PAR’s website ( – just go to the Information Sheets page.

As always, if you have any questions, or need assistance, please let us know!


If you were forwarded this message and would like to subscribe to PAR’s newsletter and alert list, please email with a request to “subscribe.”

If you would like to unsubscribe from PAR’s newsletter and alert list, please reply to this email with a request to “unsubscribe.”

If you need the attachment in a different format, please let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you. Mahalo!


Public Access Room (PAR)

A Division of the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB)

State Capitol, Room 401

415 S. Beretania St.

Honolulu, HI  96813


Phone:  808/587-0478*

TTY:  808/587-0749





* Toll Free from All Islands

Hawai’i….. 974-4000, ext. 7-0478

Maui………… 984-2400, ext. 7-0478

Kaua’i………. 274-3141, ext. 7-0478

Moloka’i/Lana’i…(800) 468-4644, ext. 7-0478

Oahu……….. 587-0478i

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