An amazing thing happened during the final hours on the final day of the Hawaii 2010 Legislative session. With a gallery filled with tired onlookers, Rep. Blake Oshiro (D-33), rose from his seat and presented a motion to suspend House rules and reconsider HB444. The motion was adopted and the bill was brought back from an earlier decision for indefinite suspension. Earlier in the session, Desperate America took a swing at legislators for choosing to ignore the bill during the session. However, an anonymous source tipped off the blog in the wee hours of the morning that someone was going to attempt to bring the bill back.
The gallery looked on in amazement as representatives gave their opinions on the matter. Olelo provided a live broadcast of the event with commentary. Thousands of Hawaii’s residents watched and listened as our elected officials went to work on the controversial bill. A second vote was taken that adopted a Senate amendment that extended civil-unions to heterosexual couples as well as homosexual couples. The House adopted the amendment and proceeded to take a final vote on the bill. By this time a few Hawaii Senate members had filed into the upper gallery area to show support for their House colleagues. It became apparent that regardless of the final outcome, something amazing was happening here. In the final hour of the final day, the people of Hawaii were witness to our legislators working!
The anticipation mounted and the crowd grew eager as various members of the House took their turn at speaking on the issue. Rep. Gene Ward (R-19) criticized his colleagues for pushing the bill forward during the final minutes of the 2010 session. Others voiced their support in ensuring equal rights for all of Hawaii’s citizens. As the House moved closer to the final vote, every citizen watching the proceeding was at the edge of their seats and nervously anticipating the vote. House Speaker, Rep. Calvin Say (D-20), called the House to order and proceeded with a roll call vote on HB444. One by one, the House secretary called each representative and took down their vote. After the final vote was tallied, it was revealed that HB444 had passed the House with a 31-20 vote. The measure had passed the House but had failed to garner the necessary 34 votes for a veto proof two-thirds majority. HB444 still has another hurdle to overcome. The governor has the power of the veto. If the bill is vetoed, Speaker Say could call a special session in July to override the veto. However, that is for another day and another rant.
HB444 passed the 2010 legislative session thanks to the hard work of the many supporters of the legislation and the hard work of the legislators. The final day of the session proved to everyone in Hawaii that we still can have faith in our legislature. The future of Hawaii has been brightened and we must all move forward to keep this momentum going in our attempts to convince Gov. Lingle to sign HB444 into law. Alone we are weak. Together we can achieve great things.
Get Informed and Get Involved.