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MidWeek Staff

Short Special Session Will Limit Public’s Input

Richard’s Roundtable…Rep. Richard Fale

No matter where public opinion lies, Hawaii residents deserve to have an opportunity to voice their opinions and be heard by their government. The upcoming special legislative session in late October will likely deny that opportunity to many.

By compressing a regular session, which usually lasts 60 days, into just a few days, we are severely limiting public discourse and the democratic process.

The governor’s proposed bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii is likely to receive a hearing in a single committee before coming to the floor for a final vote. Moreover, this may not be the only bill heard during this special session.

Other bills may find their way through the Legislature during this short special session without providing the necessary time to vet ideas, discuss concerns and gather public opinion.

My reservations over this special session transcend the issue of same-sex marriage and instead lie with the reflection this process has on government as a whole.

Our community is concerned about traffic and infrastructure, education and economic opportunities. To be addressed effectively, these core issues require significant work by both public and private entities. Already, this special session has taken a disproportionate amount of time, attention and energy and has distracted many from focusing on fundamental government problems that affect all of Hawaii.

Please visit our website at repfale.com or email me at repfale@capitol.hawaii.gov to share your thoughts and insights about the upcoming special session or other community concerns you have for District 47.

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