Public worker raises
(SB 18; SB 710; SB 1034; SB 1035; SB 1379)
Bills would set aside about $325 million from the state general treasury for raises over the next two years for members of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association, University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly, Hawai'i Government Employees Association, the United Public Workers and some firefighters.
(HB 200 HD1 SD1 CD1)
The two-year $7.1 billion state budget includes start-up money for a proposed $150 million new medical school and biomedical research facility in Kaka'ako. The budget increases general treasury spending by about 12 percent next year and another 4.5 percent the following year. The bill also includes about $500 million for construction projects over the next two years.
Right to strike
(SB 1096 SD1 HD1 CD1)
Repeals mandatory arbitration as a way of resolving stalled contract negotiations between the state and counties and the public worker unions. This restores the right to strike for all public workers except prison guards, police, firefighters and some medical personnel. The governor has signed the bill into law.
(SB 1096 SD1 HD1 CD1)
Authorizes the governor and county mayors to contract out public services as they see fit, or to set up systems of managed competition to allow public workers to compete with private companies for the opportunity to provide public services. This allows layoffs of public workers when public services are privatized. The governor has signed the bill into law.
Public worker benefits
(SB 1044 SD1 HD1 CD1)
Creates a new Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund to overhaul the way health benefits are provided to state and county workers. This eliminates the health plans that are now provided through the public worker unions. The amounts the state and counties pay for worker health benefits will be decided in bargaining between the employers and the unions. The governor has signed the bill into law.
Establishes a pilot program for the 2002 Honolulu City Council elections providing for public financing of up to $80,000 for the campaigns of candidates who accept only nominal donations from all other donors. Lawmakers expect to consider this issue again next year.
Would ban contractors doing business with the state or counties from making campaign contributions. Would also ban contributions from corporations or labor unions. Would halve the allowable contributions for all state and county offices. Lawmakers expect to consider this issue again next year.
Would appropriate $900,000 to hire 25 people for a "customer service" unit in the Child Support Enforcement Agency. The new workers would field calls from the public and research questions for custodial and non-custodial parents.
Requires automatic recounts in races if the margin between the winner and the next-highest vote-getter is less than 1 percentage point of the total votes cast in the race.
Would require separate ballots for each party in Hawai'i's primary elections.
Would adjust the structure of retirement benefits for state lawmakers after 2003 to make lawmakers' retirement comparable to other state employees. Currently lawmakers are entitled to considerably more generous retirement benefits.
Would increase pay for state department deputy directors by as much as 23.5 percent, and heads of departments by more than 11 percent.
Overtime and pensions
Would ban the use of overtime pay in calculating pension benefits after June 30, 2000.