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Hawaii Legislature closes session

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:33 p.m. HST, May 2, 2013

The Hawaii Legislature concluded its 2013 legislative session today as lawmakers in both the House and the Senate met to vote on the handful of bills that remained after months of debates.

One bill approved today requires adults to wear seat belts when sitting in the back seat of a car on a public highway. Children are already required to wear seat belts.

Lawmakers also decided to advance a bill for stricter campaign finance reporting requirements.

Sen. Clayton Hee says the measure is a step forward for transparency and accountability.

Not all of today’s bills were approved. The state Senate rejected a bill to stop people from lying down disruptively in bus stops.

The agenda for today’s final session was particularly slim compared with Tuesday’s meeting, when House lawmakers continued debating bills into the night.

The Legislature passed most of its proposals on Tuesday, including a $23.8 billion state budget and Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s initiatives for energy, entrepreneurship and education.

After each chamber adjourned their respective sessions, all lawmakers joined hands in the House chamber to sing together.

Because Hawaii has a part-time Legislature, lawmakers don’t plan to meet to vote on bills again until next year.

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