This is where the rubber meets the road friends. Since the anti-smoking group bullies are about as convincing as a rotten coconut to most smokers and small business owners the anti-smoking lobby instead continuously trys to force their social engineering agenda via legislation. This is why our side of the issue must be very proactive in this area.
Also of note, HB2306 to exempt bars from the smoking ban passed the House Economic Committee 10-1 in 2012. Not surprising when according to Gallop polls, 69% of people support such a bill.
The legislative session is now underway for this year.
Please strongly consider becoming a member. It's free, fun, and your voice can have a real impact. Because the legislative process is somewhat complex, we can alert you via e-mail when a critical moment occurs in smoking related legislation and how best to have YOUR VOICE HEARD at the legislature. Please send an e-mail requesting to join to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mahalo.
The proposed beach ban (HB 325) has failed to pass out of committee! Mahalo to Rep. Faye Hanohano for defending home rule for the outer islands from the bigoted bill HB325. Thanks also to those members who sent in testimony. :)
Afraid that people would find out that the bill has majority support, the antis were caught red handed quietly making back room deals with house leadership to block a fair vote. It shows how desperate the antis truely are.
What is interesting in this years primary is that House Majority Leader Pono Chong who singlehandedly killed our bill just LOST the primary. Bob Herkes who also took it upon himself to block our legislation in 2010 also lost the primary this year. M. Lee, a long time opponent of fair treatment for smokers was also defeated in the general election. She disgracefully voted for every ban and tax increase she could in the past six years and co-sponsored the 2006 ban.
These and other election races has made it clear that lawmakers who are Democrats run with a significant voter penalty from our large minority group if they should happen to face a funded, known name opponent, in particular if that opponent is a Democrat who hasn't championed the anti-smoking groups. Basically, when both candidates are more or less on equal footing as a Demorats on labor, unions, and entitlements issues, then it causes voters to look to other issues to make their choice. There are 200,000 smokers in Hawaii while the anti-smoking lobby at most has claimed 2000. Food for thought.
Last summer the bigots at Tobacco Free Hawaii attempted to push a ban in parks through the Kauai County Council. It also failed thanks to the help of our members and friends on a 4-3 final vote. Your efforts were a decisive in letting the council know that such bigoted bills ARE NOT ACCEPTIBLE to our smoker community. You let them know that the astroturf, Settlement Agreement funded haters at "Tobacco Free Hawaii" don't represent you. Thanks.
Write your testimony and email to tesitimony@Capitol.Hawaii.gov and email a cc copy to us at : email@example.com or Fax to :808-236-2661.
Bills can be read in their entirety at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/docs/docs.asp . I encourage you to review these bills and bombard all of the state officials, including the Governor and Lt. Governor via email, fax or better yet, snail mail. Their contact information is also available at the ehawaii.gov site.
To see sample testimony click here.