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Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

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Rock climbing bill, more fees OK’d

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press

POSTED:



The state Senate Ways and Means Committee is advancing a proposal that would make it easier for people to rock-climb in Hawaii, one of some 150 bills the committee considered in a two-day sprint that ended Friday.

Many of the proposals sailed through, with the body’s only Republican acting as a lone voice of dissent.

Sen. Sam Slom challenged a bill to increase the fee for solid waste left in landfills or shipped out of state.

“All we can think of is taxing and penalizing people more, so I’ll be voting no,” Slom said.

He also opposed the governor’s proposal to make dietary supplements subject to the same recycling fee as other drinks. He said he couldn’t see how the bill jibes with the governor’s other proposal to tax sugary drinks to decrease obesity.

“Now which is it? Fat or thin?” he said.

The committee approved both bills.

The senators also advanced a proposal to make it easier for people to do extreme sports in Hawaii by limiting the state’s liability for people involved in rock climbing, mountain climbing and rappelling on government land.

Advocates say their ability to exercise and enjoy Hawaii’s beauty through climbing is being hindered by the state’s fear of lawsuits.

The committee advanced a bill Thursday allowing the state to partner with private companies to develop public school land. The proposal has been criticized as an offshoot of the state’s land agency that has the power to develop public land without regard to county rules, much to the anger of county leaders.

The committee also advanced a bill providing affordable loans for green energy infrastructure and a bill to decrease the liquor tax for local breweries.

Senators deferred several important measures until next week, including proposals to reform the University of Hawaii, a bill to lower renewable energy tax credits and the governor’s proposal to create a statewide preschool program.

The committee’s counterpart in the House has also been reviewing dozens of bills this week.

The House Committee on Finance was considering Friday proposals to add a fee to single-use checkout bags and require labeling on some genetically modified food.

The representatives approved a bill Friday morning aimed at increasing the minimum wage despite opposition from Hawaii businesses.






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Leewardboy wrote:
IIRC - Hawaii's mountains are not not well-suited for rock climbing. The "rock" is often not as solid as it looks. YMMV
on February 23,2013 | 03:50AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The committee advanced a bill Thursday allowing the state to partner with private companies to develop public school land.

PLDC-Lite. This needs to be killed.


on February 23,2013 | 07:28AM
bobbob wrote:
sad to say, but slom seems to be the sole voice of reason on many issues.
on February 23,2013 | 08:27AM
Bdpapa wrote:
He has always been!
on February 23,2013 | 08:52AM
bender wrote:
Now why would you include dietary supplements in the sugar tax bill. Sounds like a money grab to me.
on February 23,2013 | 10:23AM
poidragon wrote:
wHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR STATE LEGISLATURE? Hawaii is already one of the most expensive places to live and our stunted mentality of a legislature wants to increase the taxations and fee's that we pay for everything across the board? GIve me a damn break, from legislative stupidity! Common sense tells you that taxating sugary drinks will not curb obesity; Obesity is caused by a varitety of factors, not just sugary drinks, it includes bad eating habits, lack of exercise and a host of other issues, targeting sugary drinks is just another way for the State to add another 'sin tax' to the already overflowing taxes applied by the state! What is needed is more FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY by the Governor and the Legislature, NOT MORE TAXATION!
on February 23,2013 | 12:54PM
poidragon wrote:
wHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR STATE LEGISLATURE? Hawaii is already one of the most expensive places to live and our stunted mentality of a legislature wants to increase the taxations and fee's that we pay for everything across the board? GIve me a break, from legislative stupidity! Common sense tells you that taxating sugary drinks will not curb obesity; Obesity is caused by a varitety of factors, not just sugary drinks, it includes bad eating habits, lack of exercise and a host of other issues, targeting sugary drinks is just another way for the State to add another 'sin tax' to the already overflowing taxes applied by the state! What is needed is more FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY by the Governor and the Legislature, NOT MORE TAXATION!
on February 23,2013 | 12:54PM
goofyfoot808 wrote:
Obviously our legislators have not hiked much or they would know how brittle Hawaii's trails and cliffs are.
on February 23,2013 | 02:34PM
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