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Hawaii News

Senate ready to override any vetoes by governor

The state Senate is prepared to come back for a special session to override any vetoes by Gov. Linda Lingle, while House members expect to decide next week on whether to return.

In a memo dated Thursday, Senate President Colleen Hanabusa informed members she had met with House Speaker Calvin Say, "and despite the Senate’s apparent desire to override potential vetoed measures identified in the governor’s recent message, the House remains divided."

House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro said members plan to meet next week to discuss the vetoes and decide whether support is there for a special session.

"My sense is it’s kind of half and half," said Oshiro (D, Aiea-Halawa).

Lingle delivered her veto message to the Legislature on Monday, listing 39 bills she might veto.

Yesterday she vetoed one of them: House Bill 415, which called for an audit of the Department of Public Safety’s contracts with mainland prisons to house Hawaii inmates.

Also included on the veto list is House Bill 444, the civil unions bill, which passed 18-7 in the Senate — a margin large enough to override a veto. House members approved the bill 31-20, three votes shy of the two-thirds majority that would be needed.

Lingle said she has been going back and forth in her mind on whether to approve the bill and does not expect to make a decision until the July 6 veto deadline.

Oshiro said he does not expect to have the votes to override a veto of HB 444.

"I’ve heard that there’s a real slight — and I would emphasize that — possibility that one person could change their vote, but I don’t think there’s going to be three," he said.

Meanwhile, he and Say are polling members to see which bills they want to consider should they be vetoed by the governor.

Members of both chambers have been told to be ready to report for a special one-day session on July 6.

Star-Advertiser reporter Richard Borreca contributed to this report.


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