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 advised that Wednesday, January 26, 2011, is the last day to introduce any substantive bill. Although it's sometimes possible to "gut and replace" another bill, it's generally advisable to get bills introduced now. So if you have any clever ideas, now is the time to be talking to your legislator.

The action will start hot and furious sometime late next week. Expect committees to start scheduling hearings as fast as possible. Although an official calendar does not appear to have been released yet, it's normal that bills must make it through their first committee within the first two weeks.

We're looking forward to a successful 2011! Keep checking back for more information.