comscore Lawmakers override Ige’s veto of Maui hospital bill
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Lawmakers override Ige’s veto of Maui hospital bill

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  • DENNIS ODA / JULY 2016

    The House and Senate, which convened their special sessions on July 12 at the State Capitol, voted to override the governor’s veto of the Maui hospital bill.

The Legislature today overrode Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill providing severance packages and retirement benefits to Maui County hospital workers who will lose their state jobs as three hospitals are transferred to Kaiser Permanente. The majority of workers are expected to go to work for Kaiser.

Lawmakers provided no funding for the benefits packages, however, making it unclear whether Ige can or will implement the measures outlined in Senate Bill 2077.

When Ige vetoed the measure earlier this month, he said it was too expensive and could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the Employees’ Retirement System. Ige estimated SB 2077 could cost the state more than $60 million.

Instead, he proposed another bill to the Legislature, which would have cost the state significantly less. Neither the Senate or House put Ige’s proposed bill to a vote.

The veto comes as the Ige administration has been negotiating with the United Public Workers to resolve a lawsuit the union brought against the state alleging the privatization pursuit violates state contracts with the unions that are in effect until June 30, 2017. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May issued an injunction in the lawsuit that temporarily halted the privatization effort.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association, which backed SB 2077, had also threatened to sue the state in recent days.

The House voted 43 to 3 to override the governor’s veto, easily securing the two-thirds majority necessary to overturn Ige’s decision. Reps. Romy Cachola, Calvin Say and Cynthia Thielen voted against overriding the veto. Five representatives were absent for the vote.

The Senate vote was 18 to 4, narrowly securing the necessary 17 votes needed.

Sens. Les Ihara, Laura Thielen, Donna Kim and Sam Slom, the Senate’s only Republican, voted against overriding the governor’s veto. Sen. Clarence Nishihara and Sen. Glenn Wakai voted yes, but with reservations.

Three senators were excused.

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  • Can the SA please print all the names of the legislators who voted for the veto. Then I hope all voters, who disagree with this ridiculous $60M giveaway to the unions, vote their displeasure. This is a blatant, in-your-face, insult to taxpayers who ultimately will pay for this legislators’ suck up to the unions.

  • The unions had to win this one for the workers to justify their existence. Can you imagine what would have happened to the unions and the legislators who were supported by the unions? Governor Ige had this rigged. He comes out of this smelling like a rose because of his veto, the unions win, the legislators get re-elected, and the taxpayers get the shaft. Typical Hawaii politics.

    • I totally disagree with this action by the legislators. They are so good at giving away other people’s money. Ige vetoed the bill which was the right thing to do and what you apparently agree with. Don’t make things up just because you don’t like someone.

    • A hear a lot of Hawaii people don’t like how government is run but STILL re-elect the same donkeys in term after term….In order to make change, you MUST elect new blood or you will only get spare change….$$$$…wake up HAWAII!!!!

    • Bonus. What a crock of do do. We can’t even maintain buildings at UH manoa and we are giving away all this. For what! Totally incompetent legislators. The workers will get a job with Kaiser. Kaiser pays well and has excellent benefits. The state needs to get out of the hospital business. It is best run by private enterprise.

  • This is what happens when you have neighbor island politicians in positions of power and controlling votes in the state legislature. These morons didn’t even provide funding for this giveaway. Incredible.

  • Didn’t the Attorney General render a legal opinion that this move could jeopardize the tax exempt status of the State Employee Retirement System? If so, how could those 43 legislators approve somethings that negatively impacts the State retirees and current State of Hawaii employees?

    • I’m guessing their attitude is, let the governor figure out how to deal with that. They’re job is how to help the unions, everything else is secondary.

  • A responsible legislature would provide funds if they want to over ride the Governor who had good reason to veto the bill. Joe Souki is playing politician pushing for the over ride and saying it is up to the Governor to find the funds. This is what happens when we have career politicians.

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