Hawaii Aquarium-Related Bills Stalled in Both the House and the Senate

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Today a state legislator in Hawaii told me in an off-the-record discussion that it would require “the legislative equivalent of a Hail Mary pass” for any of the aquarium-related bills currently in the Hawaii State Legislature to move forward.

The reasons why 13 of the 14 aquarium-related bills are “stalled” and “dead for now” are complex and firmly rooted in the procedural intricacies of the Hawaiian legislative process. I’ll get into some of the details in a piece I have publishing tonight in CORAL Magazine’s eNewsletter, but suffice it to say a deadline came and went last night with no action taken to keep these bills active. While there are procedural options still open to legislators who want to revive one or more of the aquarium-related bills, it is, in the words of a procedural expert I interviewed in the House today, “very unlikely.”

The expired deadline that has caused most of the bills to stall, does not apply to the four anti-aquarium resolutions. These are still active, although, as I wrote in a previous blog entry, they are all firmly rooted in a vote on Kauai that at best sidelined (and at worst ignored) the science. The expired deadline also does not apply to SB1387, as that bill was only referred to a single committee and yesterday’s deadline was only for bills referred jointly.

Stay tuned for there will certainly be much more to come from Hawaii in regards to the debate over the United States’ most important marine aquarium fishery.