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Deadline looms for Ige to announce bill vetoes

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Gov. David Ige agrees with setting a goal of 100 percent renewable energy but did not provide an exact date for reaching that mark, saying he wants targets that are “aspirational but not out of touch with reality.”

The deadline is approaching for Hawaii Gov. David Ige to tell lawmakers which bills he plans to veto.

There are several major bills left unsigned, including a plan to set up a system of medical marijuana dispensaries. Hawaii has about 13,000 patients who are approved to use medical marijuana, but there is virtually no legal way for them to obtain the medicine.

Ige has to let the Legislature know on Monday which bills he won’t approve. There are more than 100 outstanding bills and advocates are eager to hear their fates.

Aside from medical marijuana, here’s a sampling of what’s still up in the air:

— TRANSGENDER BIRTH CERTIFICATES — The governor hasn’t yet announced his decision on whether to allow transgender individuals to more easily switch gender on their birth certificates. Right now, they’re required to have gender reassignment surgery to make the switch.

— SEX TRAFFICKING — The House and Senate unanimously passed a bill banning sex trafficking in Hawaii. The proposal calls for a victim-centered approach that treats those forced into prostitution as victims instead of criminals.

— AUTISM COVERAGE — Diagnosis and treatment of autism disorders would be covered by insurance for children up to age 14.

— POWDERED ALCOHOL — The Legislature passed a bill that puts an end to a requirement that the corn-based additive be mixed into fuel sold in the state. The bill put the state at the front of a national discussion over the future of ethanol in gasoline.

— ETHANOL MANDATE — Lawmakers passed a bill to ban powdered alcohol before the product went on sale in the state. The powder product makes cocktails and other alcoholic drinks when it’s mixed with water. It won federal approval in March.

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