Lawmakers prepare for the home stretch
LAWMAKERS PREPARE FOR THE HOME STRETCH
On Tuesday, the Legislature will vote on roughly 90 percent of the laws it will pass this year. All bills that have not yet received final approval must still survive a floor vote. Last week, conference committees were under pressure to meet a Friday deadline to ready bills for final reading. Most conference committees held their final votes until Friday, with negotiations on some key measures pushing the midnight deadline. A tax reform package was amended after 11 p.m. and two committees shared a table during the last 10 minutes to push out bills that would indefinitely suspend the gas cap, create a $100 million — $25 million annually over four years — high-tech innovation fund and allow Hawai'i to join the streamlined sales tax project, which could allow the state to collect taxes on Internet purchases.
In key action last week, conference committees reached agreement on: