Monthly Archives: April 2017

Bill to slash judges’ retirement benefits died in conference committee

SB 249, which would have singled out future judges and justices for a 33% cut in retirement benefits, died at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon, just before a 6 p.m. deadline. I’m awaiting more news on how the conference negotiations played out in the end.

Meanwhile, I’m attaching the bill’s history (below). More information, including each version of the bill, committee reports, and testimony, is available on its status page.

Also see:
Ian Lind: Hawaii Lawmakers Needlessly Renew Assault On The Judiciary
Civil Beat / January 26, 2017

Legislature’s attacks on judges tied to past failure to fund Hawaiian Homes
Posted on April 26, 2017

SB249 SD2 HD1 Submit

Measure Title: RELATING TO RETIREMENT.
Report Title: Retirement; Pension; Judges; Employees’ Retirement System
Description: Reduces the percentage of average final compensation used to calculate the retirement allowance for a member who first earned credited service as a judge after June 30, 2050, to two per cent. (SB249 HD1)
Companion: HB987
Package: None
Current Referral: LAB, FIN
Introducer(s): KEITH-AGARAN, INOUYE, Dela Cruz, Kim

Sort by Date Status Text
1/20/2017 S Introduced.
1/23/2017 S Passed First Reading.
1/23/2017 S Referred to JDL, WAM.
2/1/2017 S The committee(s) on JDL has scheduled a public hearing on 02-08-17 9:00AM in conference room 016.
2/8/2017 S The committee(s) on JDL recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in JDL were as follows: 3 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keith-Agaran, K. Rhoads, Kim; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 2 No(es): Senator(s) Gabbard, L. Thielen; and 0 Excused: none.
2/14/2017 S Reported from JDL (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 185) with recommendation of passage on Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referral to WAM.
2/14/2017 S Report adopted; Passed Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referred to WAM.
2/27/2017 S The committee(s) on WAM will hold a public decision making on 03-01-17 9:45AM in conference room 211.
3/1/2017 S The committee(s) on WAM deferred the measure until 03-02-17 10:05AM in conference room 211.
3/2/2017 S The committee(s) on WAM recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in WAM were as follows: 8 Aye(s): Senator(s) Tokuda, Dela Cruz, English, Galuteria, Inouye, K. Kahele, Shimabukuro, Wakai; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 3 No(es): Senator(s) Harimoto, Riviere, Taniguchi; and 0 Excused: none.
3/3/2017 S Reported from WAM (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 872) with recommendation of passage on Third Reading, as amended (SD 2).
3/3/2017 S 48 Hrs. Notice 03-07-17.
3/7/2017 S Report Adopted; Passed Third Reading, as amended (SD 2). Ayes, 19; Aye(s) with reservations: Senator(s) Espero, Ihara, K. Rhoads. Noes, 5 (Senator(s) Gabbard, Harimoto, Riviere, Taniguchi, L. Thielen). Excused, 1 (Senator(s) English). Transmitted to House.
3/7/2017 H Received from Senate (Sen. Com. No. 106) in amended form (SD 2).
3/9/2017 H Pass First Reading
3/9/2017 H Referred to LAB, FIN, referral sheet 27
3/17/2017 H Bill scheduled to be heard by LAB on Tuesday, 03-21-17 10:00AM in House conference room 309.
3/21/2017 H The committees on LAB recommend that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 5 Ayes: Representative(s) Johanson, Holt, Keohokalole, Nakashima, Yamashita; Ayes with reservations: none; 1 Noes: Representative(s) Matsumoto; and Excused: none.
3/24/2017 H Reported from LAB (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 1356) as amended in HD 1, recommending passage on Second Reading and referral to FIN.
3/24/2017 H Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on FIN with Representative(s) Kobayashi, LoPresti, Oshiro, Souki, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Matsumoto, Say voting no (2) and Representative(s) Aquino, DeCoite, Har, Ichiyama, C. Lee, Thielen excused (6).
3/31/2017 H Bill scheduled to be heard by FIN on Tuesday, 04-04-17 2:00PM in House conference room 308.
4/4/2017 H The committees on FIN recommend that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes were as follows: 15 Ayes: Representative(s) Luke, Cullen, Choy, Gates, Holt, Lowen, Nakamura, Quinlan, Yamashita; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Cachola, DeCoite, Keohokalole, Kobayashi, LoPresti, Tokioka; 2 Noes: Representative(s) Tupola, Ward; and Excused: none.
4/7/2017 H Reported from FIN (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 1762), recommending passage on Third Reading.
4/11/2017 H Passed Third Reading with Representative(s) Cachola, McKelvey, San Buenaventura, Souki, Takumi, Tokioka voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) DeCoite, Har, Kobayashi, LoPresti, Matsumoto, McDermott, Oshiro, Say, Takayama, Thielen, Tupola, Ward voting no (12) and none excused (0). Transmitted to Senate.
4/13/2017 S Received from House (Hse. Com. No. 583).
4/13/2017 S Senate disagrees with House amendments.
4/13/2017 H Received notice of disagreement (Sen. Com. No. 677).
4/17/2017 H House Conferees Appointed: Johanson, Luke Co-Chairs; Nakashima, Yamashita.
4/17/2017 S Received notice of appointment of House conferees (Hse. Com. No. 587).
4/18/2017 S Senate Conferees Appointed: Keith-Agaran Chair; Tokuda Co-Chair; Kim.
4/18/2017 H Received notice of Senate conferees (Sen. Com. No. 681).
4/19/2017 S Conference committee meeting scheduled for 04-20-17 1:30PM in conference room 325.
4/20/2017 S Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-27-17 1:30PM in conference room 325.
4/27/2017 S Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-28-17 11:00AM in conference room 325.
4/28/2017 S Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-28-17 2:30PM in conference room 309.
4/28/2017 S Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-28-17 4:45PM in conference room 309.

Please say “Happy Birthday, Mr. Duke!”

Yes, Duke turns 15 today!

April 30, 2002This is the first picture taken of Duke after he and his two siblings were born sometime early on April 30, 2002. They were in the little office I was working out of at that time. I discovered them as soon as I arrived in the morning from Kaaawa, and snapped this photo with their mother, a rescue we had named Cybelle. Then we were off to have the kittens checked out by our vet at VCA in Kaneohe, Leianne Lee Loy.

As regular readers know, Duke has done a lot of growing up. He’s a big boy now, weighing in at something just under 16 pounds.

I found this fantastic photo of him taken a few years ago in Kaaawa, showing off those great blue eyes.

Blue Eyes

And just for fun, here’s a little video taken when Duke was about 10-12 weeks old. It’s not long, so enjoy!


Notice those high tides?

This was the scene in front of the Kahala Beach Apartments this morning, where several inches of sand and debris covered a long stretch of the sidewalk, the result of an unusually high tide late yesterday.

Fronting the Kahala Apartments

A post on Jan TenBruggencate’s Raising Islands blog this week reported high tides in Hawaii running 8-10 inches above last year.

He wrote:

Very strange stuff is going on at Hawai`i’s coastlines—sea levels have jumped in the past few months as much as they have in the past century.

Oceanographers are trying to figure out just what’s going on.

But what it means for now is that we are seeing eight to 10 inches higher high tides than we did a year ago.

If you’ve been at the docks, or at low-lying coastlines, you’ve seen it. This week will see some of the highest high tides.

University of Hawai`i coastal geologist Chip Fletcher said the superhigh water has been around for some time, and people seeing the unusual water levels and noting that it’s strange are not mistaken.

“No it’s not a mistake – there has been a slug of high sea level for a year or more that has lingered around the islands,” Fletcher said.

It may be temporary, TenBruggencate reports. Let’s hope so.

It’s a very interesting post, complete with charts and graphs. But if you’re anywhere near the water, more than a little unsettling.

Feline Friday: The old boys survived their visit to the v-e-t

That’s Duke in one of his “hiding” places behind a chair in the living room. He’s too bit to comfortably crawl under the chair, so he usually just sleeps in back of it. It can be a chore to dislodge him from there.

Mr. Duke

The news…Duke and Romeo had a surprise this week. They both got to visit Ann Sakamoto, our vet who now practices at the Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic. I picked them up on Wednesday afternoon and made the short drive to Hawaii Kai.

It was mainly a preventive visit for these old boys.

And we got our own surprise. Leianne Lee Loy, who had been our primary vet in Kaneohe back in the early 2000s, has now joined the staff in Hawaii Kai.

In fact, just hours after Duke was born in 2002, we took Duke and his littermate to be checked out by Dr. Lee Loy. That was 15 years ago. So we had a happy reunion, and she consulted on some of the cats’ medical issues.

Both Duke and Romeo lost a little bit of weight over the past six months or eight months, but nothing to worry about. Romeo has had urinary issues in the past, so he had his urine tested. Dr. Sakamoto drew some blood from Duke for a diabetes blood panel to track how our glucose control efforts are going.

Hopefully there will be nothing urgent in their test results.

They were not at all happy about the vet visit. But Duke stepped out of his carrier on his own, although we had to pour & pry Romeo out of his carrier. When it was over, they just wanted to get home. Then they wanted to eat. The memory of the trip apparently faded rapidly.

–> See all of this week’s Feline Friday photos.