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Bills on rail tax and domestic violence on Legislature’s agenda

Hawaii lawmakers are nearing the halfway point of the 2017 legislative session. They’re reviewing bills that need to be passed out of the originating chamber in the next two weeks in order to stay alive. Here’s a sampling of upcoming legislative hearings:

>> Beauty salons and domestic violence: Hairdressers and manicurists often have close relationships with their clients, and state lawmakers contend they can play a role in combating domestic violence. Senators are introducing a bill to require cosmetologists to complete a training program on recognizing the signs of domestic violence. Senate Bill 518 is set to be heard before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor at 10 a.m. today.

>> Trespassing on state land: Gov. David Ige wants to make it a crime to trespass on state land. A similar bill was proposed last year but died. The aim was to target copper thieves stealing from state land, but critics warned it would unfairly target homeless people. The measure, SB 895, is scheduled to be heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:30 a.m. today.

>> Catching gray water: Developers who want to construct new buildings in Hawaii would have to include plans to install systems that capture gray water for irrigation under SB 555. Without those plans they wouldn’t be able to get a building permit, although some exemptions would be allowed. The bill is set to be heard before the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment at 1:15 p.m. today.

>> Rail tax: A measure, SB 1183, to extend a surcharge on the state tax in perpetuity to fund the Honolulu rail transit project is up for a hearing by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today at 1:30 p.m. It has been altered to include several proposals, including establishing an income tax credit that reduces the tax liability for low-­income people.

>> Presidential tax returns: President Donald Trump did not release tax returns during the presidential campaign, breaking decades of precedent. Lawmakers in the state House and Senate want to make it a requirement that candidates release tax returns to get on the presidential ballot. The Senate version of the bill, SB 150, will be heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

>> Fishing labor: SB 152 aims to change rules for how fishing licenses are issued to foreign crew members. The Senate Committee on Water and Land and the Senate Committee on International Affairs and the Arts are scheduled to vote on the proposal at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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