New Website!

January 30, 2012
We've moved, errr, are moving. Check out our new website at www.CapitolWatchHawaii.org. That page, hopefully soon, will replace this page in its entirety.

Thanks for being a supporter of the Sierra Club and our Capitol Watch program!
 

Conference Committees: What Happened?

May 2, 2011
If I had to summarize this session in one word, it would be: disappointing. If I had two words, it would be: deeply disappointing.

Conference committees are supposed to be the stage at which the House and Senate resolve nagging differences between two different drafts of the same bill. While sometimes the differences are too great to resolve, the expectation is that most bills that reach conference committee can and should pass. Considerable work has already been done to get the bills to this ...
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Testimony in Support of HB1380 Farm to School Programs

February 9, 2011
Aloha, below is an example of the kind of testimony we're writing. Please feel free to use it as a template for writing your own.
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Aloha Chair Tsuji, Vice Chair Hashem, and members of the Agriculture Committee,
 
I am in support of HB1380, establishing a Farm to School program within the Department of Education.
 
Farm to School programs are a key component of sustainable food systems.  With rates of childhood obesity and diabetes rising to alarming levels, children’s exposure to fresh...
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Capitol Watch's First Newsletter Released!

January 31, 2011
Aloha mai kākou

Ten days ago, the Hawai‘i State legislative session opened. Within a week over 3000 pieces of draft legislation had been submitted. Just two days later, this past Friday, first hearings were held and already some excellent bills were effectively stopped with barely any input from ordinary citizens.

Yup, believe it or not, sometimes government can move at lightning speed! And it can be maddening and frustrating to folks who yearn to be more involved in shaping our ...


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Capitol Watch Resources

January 21, 2011
At the Forces for Good seminar, we passed out a handy cheat sheet with helpful links, telephone numbers, and general contact information.  Just in case you didn't get a chance to attend, we thought we'd include the information below.  Have any other helpful links?  Feel free to send us an email!

Resources: 

Letters to the Star Advertiser:
Fax: (808) 529-4750

Letters to the Honolulu Weekly:
Fax: (808) 528-3144

Public Access Room ...

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The 2011 Legislature Starts!

January 20, 2011
The 2011 Hawaii State Legislature opened today. Opening day is usually festive, marked with entertainment, such as the photo of the Kamehameha school choir performing below, and lots of food. It's customary for each office to serve food for the visiting well-wishers that travel from office to office. Supposedly a few years ago a clever entrepreneur charged tourists in Waikiki ten bucks to take them to the Capitol opening for food.

Over the next week, bills will be introduced.  We've been advis...
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Forces for Good Symposium Presentations

December 24, 2010
On December 4th, a packed room of volunteers gathered to hear experts discuss a multitude of legislative topics, such as Hawaii's clean energy future and ways to protect native Hawaiian plants. The Forces for Good Symposium was the start of the Sierra Club's efforts to empower folks to ensure strong green laws are passed in Hawaii.

Thanks to Representative Cynthia Thielen and Representative Jessica Wooley for their opening and closing remarks. Capitol Watch would like to extend a Big Mahalo ...
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The Capitol Watch

December 1, 2010
Capitol Watch is dedicated to demystifying the legislative process so you can have your voice heard on the environmental issues that matter to you. Legislators want to hear your voice. They know that if regular people care enough to testify on a bill that it's an important bill. They listen. 

We watch legislative bills with good and bad environmental consequences. Here you can find explanations of the bills, links to submit testimony or how to testify in person, and other ways to get more invo...
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A Food Marshall Plan for Hawaii

December 1, 2010
Robert Harris, Director of the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club, advocates for a "Marshall Plan" to guide Hawaii's decision-making on agriculture and food production. The State is developing prime agricultural land; each year it loses a percentage of its land to development. Cumulatively, this results in major losses of prime agricultural land available for food production. Economically, food production loses to both alternative agricultural uses, such as biofuels, and cheap imports f...
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What Is the Capitol Watch?

Capitol Watch is dedicated to demystifying the legislative process so you can have your voice heard on environmental issues important to you.


Our band of volunteers track legislative bills with good and bad environmental consequences. Here you can find explanations of the bills, links to submit testimony or how to testify in person, and other ways to get more involved.

 

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The Tools:

Click to view our comprehensive legislative tracker.  Or click on the titles below to follow up on a particular subject area.

You can also see upcoming hearings on our Google calendar.