Hawaii Legislative Watch: Trivial pursuits

In previous weeks, we looked at proposed bills for taxes, education, the people vs. government, and controversial bills during the 2012 Hawaii Legislative Session. This is my last look at the legislative proposals being discussed and debated.

Just for fun, I thought I’d highlight some of the more trivial (in my opinion) bills proposed by lawmakers. I came across these bills just by browsing the enormous list of bills, so I’m sure there are many that I’ve missed.

With Styx’s “Too Much Time on My Hands” playing at the back of my mind, here are 5 trivial proposals that seem like a waste of time:

1. Daylight savings: HB22 institutes daylight savings time in Hawaii. Why do we need this?

2. Spelling “Hawai‘i”: HB709 requires the use of the glottal stop in the spelling of “Hawai‘i” in government documents and signs. Does this have to be a law?

3. Disruptive behavior: HB2751 and SB3026 make it an offense to be disrespectful to a legislator. Who decides what’s disrespectful? What about freedom of speech?

4. Appreciation days and months: HB1595 designates August 26 as Hawaii State Dog Appreciation Day. HB2133 designates October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” HB2809 designates October as “Kalo Appreciation Month.” HB2824 and HB2838 designate February as “Hawaii-Grown Cacao Month.” HB2846 designates August 4 as “President Barack Obama Day.” SB1451 SD1 designates October as “Farm to School Month.” HB1984 and SB2175 designate February as “Olelo Hawaii Month.” SB3007 re-designates “Discoverer’s Day” to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” We should all show our gratitude and appreciation, but why do these issues, products, and  people get singled out and does this need to be discussed during the regular legislative session?

5. Public health: HB42 and HB254 prohibit public urination and defecation in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, respectively. HB697 and SB1012 make the prohibition statewide. Do we need a law? Isn’t this covered by public indecency? Will we start ticketing young kids who can’t hold it and use the bushes or trees?

Hawaii faces so many important issues and challenges. What issues do you think lawmakers should focus on? Have you come across any bills that seem unimportant and trivial?

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