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State Legislature to decide on final bills

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:59 a.m. HST, May 2, 2013

The Legislature is holding its last session of 2013.

Both the House and the Senate plan to meet this morning. They plan to vote on just a handful of bills, including proposals addressing the state's settlements with unions and unfunded liabilities for employee benefits.

Senators are also deciding on a bill to stop people from lying down disruptively in bus stops. Also on the Senate's agenda is a measure to require everyone, not just children, to wear seatbelts on highways.

The House is also scheduled to vote on its version of the state shield law protecting journalists' sources. Because the Senate passed a different version on Tuesday, the bill is already effectively dead.

The agenda for today's final session is slim compared to Tuesday's meeting, when House lawmakers continued debating bills into the night.

The Legislature passed dozens of bills on Tuesday, including a $23.8 billion state budget that funds the state's information technology transformation and numerous capital improvement projects. Lawmakers also approved Gov. Neil Abercrombie's initiatives regarding green energy, public school land development and early childhood education.

The bills approved Tuesday now go to Abercrombie's desk for his signature.

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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