Latest Bill Tracking Information – Get Involved!

More bad bills popping up at the Capitol

More bad bills popping up at the Capitol

From the Office of Representative Bob McDermott

ALERT: HB 459 Scheduled for Hearing This Week Wednesday

Updated Status: To be heard on 2/25/15 at 2pm by the Education Committee. Click here for the bill’s page. Click here for the hearing notice.   TAKE ACTION by Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) and by contacting the members of the Judiciary Committee.

First, the Good News: Unlike the original bill, this HD1 allows the Department of Education to keep its current “opt in” policy regarding sex education.

But the Bad News: The HD1 draft of the bill still introduces statutory language that may discourage parents from enrolling their kids is sex education programs—since those programs might not be appropriate.

Page 3 of the bill MANDATES sex education be offered for any “elementary, middle, intermediate, high, and alternative school” operated by the DOE.

There is a certain laxity in the DOE with regard to age appropriateness. I’m afraid that this bill will make this worse.  Young children in elementary school can actually suffer mental harm if they are taught sex education too early.  Psychiatrist Melvin Anchell noted:

  • “Scholastic tests done on today’s sexually educated 6- to 12-year-olds, indeed, show that these students have accomplished less scholastically than pre-sex-education students.
  • “The sex teachings given to the 6- to 12-year-old students keep sexual impulses stirred up, disrupting sexual growth, as well as personal and cultural achievements.”
  • “A partial summary of adverse effects due to the sex educators’ interferences during [this period] is that they: 1) Make the 6- to 12-year-old student less educable; 2) can block the development of compassion; 3) weaken the mental barriers controlling base sexual instincts, thereby making the child vulnerable to perversions in later life.

Page 3 of the bill also states: “At their own discretion, teachers may answer in good faith any question initiated by a student or students that is reasonably related to and consistent with the material of a course…”

This is very broad.  And it also means that parents will likely not have access to the oral statements made by the teachers, since those statements are not part of the written curriculum.

Page 4 of the bill states that “Sexuality health education under subsection (a) shall not not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity”.

The reality is that not all relationships are the same.  There are HEALTH consequences to male-on-male sexual intercourse.  According to the CDC, bisexual and homosexual males are about 2% of the US population; but an estimated 57% persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States are gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs.

This bill could mean that homosexual relationships and transgender lifestyles would need to be discussed—even to elementary students.  Further, the bill’s language could also be interpreted to simultaneously mandate a need to CENSOR the disclosure of the elevated health risks of homosexual behavior—in an effort to curb “discrimination”.  The bill could also be used CENSOR any dissent against the merits of transgender surgery, even though Johns Hopkins—which originally pioneered such surgeries—stopped doing them because they were actually harmful.


UPDATE: We are providing updated information regarding the content and status of these bills. Check back for updates!

Below are bills that might have negative impacts on families or communities. You can TAKE ACTION against these bills by both:

(1) Contacting the members of the respective House Committees that are handling the bill in question; AND

(2) Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) if a bill is scheduled for Committee hearing.

HB 321 – The HD1 draft of the bill attempts to allow medical marijuana for people who medically need it. But the bill may go too far. It attempts to create twenty-six dispensaries by 2019—and the county governments have no say in stopping them. Further, the bill allows the creation of marijuana lozenges—children might be tempted to use them as candy. Updated Status: 2/20/15 – Passed Second Reading on the House Floor.  Referred to the Finance Committee.  Not yet scheduled for hearing.  TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of the Finance Committee.

HB 395 – The HD1 draft of the bill allows minors between 14-17 to receive “safe places” services from non-profit organizations–in some cases, even without parental consent. Part of this bill includes an appropriation for temporary housing, and could be used to separate children from parents. This Bill undermines parental authority and rightsUpdated Status: 2/12/15 – Passed Second Reading on the House Floor.  Referred to the Finance Committee.  Not yet scheduled for hearing.  TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of the Finance Committee.

HB 459 – The HD1 draft of the bill mandates that all Department of Education schools provide sex education—starting as young as elementary school. The bill also grants teachers discretion on answering sex education questions—answers which might not be documented in the curriculum materials. Further, the bill’s prohibition against discrimination based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” could mean that such lifestyles will be discussed in class—but without a full disclosure of the hazardous health consequences of homosexual behavior and transgender surgery.  Updated Status: To be heard on 2/25/15 at 2pm by the Education Committee.   TAKE ACTION by Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) and by contacting the members of the Education Committee.

HB 631 – The HD1 draft of the bill would require the Department of Health to list someone as a “born” of a different gender on a birth certificate—based on that person’s self-perceived “gender identity”. The bill would also forbid the new certificate from indicating that it was “Amended“. Politically correct, biologically inaccurate, more social engineeringUpdated Status: To be heard on 2/24/15 at 2pm by the Judiciary Committee.   TAKE ACTION by Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) and by contacting the members of the Judiciary Committee.

HB 819 – Anti-bullying bill, updated in an HD1 draft. While much of the bill is good, the bill has a negative side: It prohibits public charter schools from practicing discrimination based on “gender identity”. Will this mean girls will have to share restrooms with boys who feel they are girls? The language is not clear. Social engineering. Updated Status: 2/20/15 – Passed Second Reading on the House Floor.  Referred to the Judiciary Committee.  Not yet scheduled for hearing.  TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of the Judiciary Committee.

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Questionable House Bills for 2015 – and what you can do about them.

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From the Office of Representative Bob McDermott

Below are bills that might have negative impacts on families or communities. You can TAKE ACTION against these bills by both:

(1) Contacting the members of the respective House Committees that are handling the bill in question; AND

(2) Submitting ONLINE TESTIMONY (click here) if a bill is scheduled for Committee hearing.

HB 321 – The bill attempts to allow medical marijuana for people who medically need it. But the bill may go too far. It mandates the creation of twenty-six medical marijuana dispensaries by 2019. This is misguided, since not all of those dispensaries might meet all qualifications. Further, the bill allows the creation of marijuana lozenges—children might be tempted to use them as candy. Status: 2/7/15 – The Health and Judiciary Committees heard the bill; the Chair of those Committees are currently amending the bill, and plan to vote on the pending amendments on 2/17/15. The result might be a better bill, or a worse bill. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of those Committees.

HB 395 – Bill allows minors between 14-17 to receive”safe places” services from non-profit organizations–in some cases, even without parental consent. Part of this bill includes an appropriation for temporary housing, and could be used to separate children from parents. This Bill undermines parental authority and rights. Status: 2/10/15 – Bill passed Second Reading. Referred to the Finance Committee; hearing not yet scheduled. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.

HB 459 – Bill attempts to change current Department of Education policy. Current policy requires parent to “opt in” their children before they are taught sexual education. The bill would automatically enroll a student in a sexual education course, unless a parent “opts out”. This measure is a direct response to our Pono Choices efforts last year, it diminishes parental involvement. Status: 2/11/15 – Hearing held in Heath Committee; decision-making to be held on 2/18/15. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.

HB 631 – Bill would require the Department of Health to list someone as a “born” of a different gender on a birth certificate—based on that person’s self-perceived “gender identity”. The bill would also forbid the new certificate from indicating that it was “Amended“. Politically correct, biologically inaccurate, more social engineering. Status: 2/13/15 – Hearing held in Heath Committee; decision-making to be held on 2/18/15. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.

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HB 819 – Anti-bullying bill. While much of the bill is good, the bill has a negative side: It prohibits public charter schools from practicing discrimination based on “gender identity”. Will this mean girls will have to share restrooms with boys who feel they are girls? The language is not clear. Social engineering. Status: 2/11/15 – The Education Committee passed the bill; it is waiting to go to the House Floor. If it passes the House Floor, it will then go to the Judiciary Committee. TAKE ACTION by contacting the members of that Committee.


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Rep. McDermott delivers invocation at legislature

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Abercrombie’s Refusal to Help Veteran’s Secure Home Loans Makes National News

Honolulu, HI – Sept. 2, 2013 – A story invoking Governor Abercrombie’s war-protestor past, has surfaced on Breitbart.com, a conservative online news service.  The story details the problems created by the Abercrombie administration regarding Hawaii’s veterans unable to obtain VA loans or refi’s on homes that use catchment systems.  This affects over 60,000 homes, mostly on the Big Island, and directly impacts about 4,500 Island veterans.

(Click on image to visit Brietbart Website)

(Click on image to visit Brietbart Website)

Representative Bob McDermott has been attempting to rectify this situation for months, working with the Administration and Veterans Administration.

Despite repeated pleas, letters, emails and phone calls by State Representative Bob McDermott (Ewa Beach),  Abercrombie has declined to give the Veterans any relief or even meet with the Marine Officer Veteran McDermott to discuss the issue.  McDermott said, “the Governors lack of action leads me to believe that he is either incompetent or does not care about our Veterans.”

With the return of Neil Abercrombie to power, the long-time campus anti-military activist, Hawaii’s veterans seem to be once again getting deliberately shoddy treatment.  While the governor may no longer be hanging returning vets in effigy, he is quite definitely hanging up their ability to get their VA loans.

State Representative Bob McDermott said, “The Abercrombie administration has refused to fix this situation after nearly two and a half years of inaction.  I personally delivered the Regional Director of the VA to the Governor’s office with a proposed solution, yet no movement.   All it takes is action by our Governor, yet he is AWOL on the issue.  Not a surprise as a book can change its cover, but not its contents.”

McDermott further stated, “Gov. Abercrombie’s Administration created this problem, now he REFUSES to fix it.  Just like during the Vietnam War, he is once again sticking it to the Veterans.  It is my hope that this reminder of the past will spur him to action to help the veterans, those who have sacrificed so much for us all, including him.  I have tried to work with him for 5 months, yet to no avail.  This deliberate lack of performance by the Governor, considering his past as a rabid war protester, is breathtakingly sad.   I urge the Governor to pick up the phone and get this fixed with the same fervor he used to pick up protest signs.”

 

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McDermott participates in anti-speeding program

Bob and his wife, Utu, urge drivers to slow down

Bob and his wife, Utu, urge drivers to slow down

Representative Bob McDermott joined with Ewa Police officers to conduct a CTAP anti-speeding program. CTAP stands for Community Traffic Awareness Program. At the request of Ewa residents, who were alarmed by the growing level of accidents on specific stretches of road, Rep McDermott worked with Sgt. Darryl Evangelista to set up a series of driver awareness events.  Bob’s wife, Utu, son and nephew were all out early in the morning on July 1st to help warn drivers to slow down…and arrive alive. Bob & friends were back out the afternoon of July 8th and have two more CTAP events planned in the future.

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Rep. McDermott holds press conference on impasse with VA loans

Presser

McDermott make his point with the news media

Representative McDermott blasts Abercrombie administration’s obstruction of VA loans.

Arbitrary ruling by Department of Health blocks VA loans for up to 60,000 affordable Big Island homes for Hawaii’s Veterans.

 HONOLULU – June 20, 2013 –Today Representative Bob McDermott held a press conference at the State Capitol to outline his efforts to work with the Abercrombie administration to alter an arbitrary DOH (Department of Health) ruling posted on their Website that blocks VA loans to homes with rainwater catchment systems.

“We tried working with Gary Gil at the DOH and Blake Oshiro at the Governor’s Office for over sixty days,” explained Rep. McDermott.

“Everyone seemed to understand the situation, but absolutely nothing was done to correct the problem.”

McDermott was first apprised of the problem by VA loan administrators who pointed out that the policy statement on the DOH Website was causing the VA to balk at home loans and re-fi’s for thousands of homes with catchment systems.  They were also concerned that other lenders such as Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac might follow suit paralyzing mortgage lending for a huge segment of the Big Island real estate inventory.

According to McDermott the problem has a simple solution.  Just change the Website copy.

“This isn’t a law, or an official rule,” said McDermott.  “it is just something…an opinion…that some nameless bureaucrat put up on the Website that has become de facto policy.”

READ MORE: StarAdvertiser story

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