By Gloria Taafe, Undergraduate Intern
We are approaching "first crossover," the halfway mark of sorts for the 2015 Legislative Session. As bills race to make this deadline, we wanted to help you get more familiar with the process and how we work.
The relatively new Capitol website makes it very easy to find any bill by keyword or bill number search. On this site you can also find, bills that became law in previous years, the legislative calendar, and the contact information for all of your elected officials. This website is a major public service for the people of Hawai`i.
But even with this high-tech tool, the legislative process is complicated and stressful. It helps to have friends and work together. That is why The Outdoor Circle works closely with the Environmental Legislative Network. The ELN is made up of many environmental organizations in Hawai`i and each work together to follow and support legislation that protects our important natural resources.
Before the start of the legislative session the ELN meets to share ideas and discuss upcoming legislation that could affect our environment. This year, important discussion revolved around small scale farms, smoke-free beaches, pesticide use, and native plants, outdoor advertising. As the session begins the ELN keeps in contact, relaying new information on hearings and progress daily. This has proved extremely beneficial in 2015 as we work together in opposition to Governor Ige’s appointment of Carleton Ching as Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The opposition to this nomination is gaining serious momentum.
Teamwork and effective communication within the Environmental Legislative Network are essential in Hawaiian politics as each organization does everything possible to help keep our land “clean, green, and beautiful”!
Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for legislative updates, links to the MoveOn petition, and other ways to help our environment this session!
The Greenleaf is the online newsletter and blog of The Outdoor Circle. Here you will find updates on the projects and accomplishments of our many branches throughout the state, as well as programs with statewide impact.