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Abercrombie may veto 23 bills


  • 2011 March 14 CTY - BOE Bill Signing - Gov. Neil Abercrombie has a few words to the gathering before he signs into law the bill that allows for an appointed Board of Education during a ceremony at Washington Place. HSA photo by Bruce Asato
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie notified state House and Senate leaders on Monday that he may veto 23 bills, including a bill intended to protect the state’s landmark Prepaid Health Care Act.

The governor has until July 12 to veto or sign the bills or they become state law without his signature. State House and Senate leaders can hold a one-day veto override session. Two-thirds’ votes in both chambers are required to override a veto.

Among the potential vetoes is a bill that removes provisions of the Prepaid Health Care Act that sunset the act in the event of a national health care plan. Some lawmakers worry that the health care reform law approved by President Barack Obama and Congress may be viewed as a national plan that would trigger the sunset provisions in the state law. The state law, which requires business to provide health insurance for employees who work 20 hours a week or more, is considered a model nationally.

Other bills on the potential veto list would require online voter registration, study on-bill financing for consumers who convert to renewable energy, provide incentives to protect important agricultural land, and adjust mandatory minimum prison terms.

State Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Wailuki-Kahului) described the chances for an override session as "somewhat slim" after his initial review of the potential veto list.

A full list of potential vetoes is available at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/RptVetoIntent.aspx

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