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History teaches a rush to legislate could backfire

By Rep. Gene Ward and Rep. Bob McDermott

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2013

~~<p>Stirred by the governor's unilateral proclamation for a special session, public debate regarding same-sex marriage has raged in Hawaii for barely more than a month now. While debate has (rightly) focused on the merits of same-sex marriage, there has been no conversation about the possible outcome of the special legislative session that the governor and other proponents desire.</p>
<p>The five-day special session is an exercise that procedurally neuters public input by: a) Reducing the number of committee hearings from four to one joint; b) Drastically shortening the vetting period for legislation from 60 to only five days; and c) Ignoring all public comment on substantive ways to improve the current language. History has shown great distrust in government when they take shortcuts around public testimony, and this same history shows breeches of this trust becoming more habitual.</p>
~~

Stirred by the governor's unilateral proclamation for a special session, public debate regarding same-sex marriage has raged in Hawaii for barely more than a month now. While debate has (rightly) focused on the merits of same-sex marriage, there has been no conversation about the possible outcome of the special legislative session that the governor and other proponents desire.

The five-day special session is an exercise that procedurally neuters public input by: a) Reducing the number of committee hearings from four to one joint; b) Drastically shortening the vetting period for legislation from 60 to only five days; and c) Ignoring all public comment on substantive ways to improve the current language. History has shown great distrust in government when they take shortcuts around public testimony, and this same history shows breeches of this trust becoming more habitual. Login for more...



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