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Hawaii news coalition: Senate killed shield law

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:25 p.m. HST, May 01, 2013

A coalition of Hawaii news media is blaming the state Senate for failing to extend a journalism shield law past June.

The House adopted a last-minute amendment that deleted changes both chambers previously negotiated which limited the law's scope.

Hours later, a divided Senate passed its version without responding to the House changes. The Senate proposal limited protections for all journalists and excluded those who work for digital newspapers and free publications.

An attorney for the Hawaii Shield Law Coalition, a group that includes The Associated Press, said Wednesday the bill is effectively dead.

Sen. Les Ihara supports the existing shield law but says he didn't have enough votes to change the Senate bill. He says the House killed the bill by introducing an amendment without coordinating with the Senate.

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localguy wrote:
Typical of the Nei's mostly dysfunctional bureaucrats, they can't stand being held to high ethical standards, can't stand public oversight, so once again they fail to do their job. Showing us another layer of incompetence we already knew about. And to think they expect to be paid for their incompetence. What baboozes.
on May 1,2013 | 01:30PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Shame on Clayton Hee for not being a leader and backpedaling in an attempt to shut down comments about him that he deems "mean spirited". We had a great law that gained positive national attention. He has now effectively ruined everything.
on May 1,2013 | 02:13PM
kauai wrote:
About par for the course for Clayton Hee, though. In the past, he also tried to loosen the conflict-of-interest laws for state bureaucrats by allowing higher dollar-value "gifts" to be exempt from being disclosed. He's shown his true colors and certainly doesn't have my vote.
on May 1,2013 | 02:23PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
"Sen. Les Ihara supports the existing shield law but says he didn't have enough votes to change the Senate bill. He says the House killed the bill by introducing an amendment without coordinating with the Senate." This is where Neil lacks the most influence: if Neil wanted this bill to pass and be brought to his desk to sign, then Neil needed to be proactive and talk to the leadership in the legislature. Time and time again we see that Neil wants a new day, except that Neil cannot just stay in the background and wait for bills to come to his desk. Take just about anything that has failed during Neil's Administration, and we see that it was lack of proactive leadership from Neil that effectively stopped legislation. Got to have that fighting spirit Neil, just as Knute Rockne did at Notre Dame.
on May 1,2013 | 02:31PM
false wrote:
Neil did not want a strong Shield Law. His attorney general was one of the most vocal opponents of the bill. I am a bit surprised to hear Senator Ihara shifting some of the blame onto the House. The House clearly did the right thing, in the end. I would have preferred if House Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads had limited his amendments and kept it a clean bill which eliminated the sunset provision from the law. But the final actions of the House were much more admirable than those of the Senate. Yes, it would have been good if the House had had its act together earlier so there could have been more advance time to coordinate with Ihara and other free press advocates in the Senate. But, ultimately, it was the Senate who was determined to either pass a junk bill or to let it die.
on May 1,2013 | 05:23PM
bobjones wrote:
That shield law issue is tough to reconcile to everyone's satisfaction. Police should not have "fishing rights" to journalists' notes and unused photos or videotape (I used to destroy mine to avoid that) or to demand sources except in civil defamation cases (so a journalist cannot fake a source and defame a person.) But who's a journalist? I like to say one who has an editor with supervisory rights over the material offered. I'm leery of bloggers with no editor supervision and so-called "citizen journalists" with the same non-supervision. But all bloggers, etc., will disagree with that, I'm sure. So a Hawaii Shield Law awaits some more negotiation.
on May 1,2013 | 02:37PM
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