2017 Key Session MEDIA

NOTE: Not all of the following media stories are specifically about Medical Aid In Dying so do scroll down for a broader critique of the 2017 Hawai`i State Legislature.

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June 7, 2017
Civil Beat Poll: Support Is Strong In Hawaii For Medical Aid In Dying
Legislators kept the issue at bay again last session, but two-thirds of poll respondents say it’s time to act.
By Nathan Eagle

Nearly two-thirds of Hawaii voters who responded to The Civil Beat Poll want the Legislature to pass a bill next year to legalize medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults. Legislators came close to taking that action during their last session, which ended May 4, but a House committee chaired by Rep. Della Au Belatti killed the measure without allowing a vote in the House after it had cleared the full Senate on a 22-3 vote. Most House members would not say where they stood on the issue. More HERE

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March 23, 2017

stateseal Hawaii House Health Committee Hearing on Senate Bill 1129 SD2 “Relating To Health”
Rep. Della Au Belatti, Chair
Rep. Bertrand Kobayashi, Vice Chair
FULL GAVEL-TO-GAVEL VIDEO HERE

NOTE: Open full screen for best viewing.

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March 23, 2017

CivilBeat_MastHouse Committee Kills ‘Aid In Dying’ Measure
After several failures in previous years, another bill to establish medical aid is effectively dead.
By Courtney Teague

A push to legalize medical aid in dying appears to have ended for the 2017 legislative session. Senate Bill 1129 would have allowed physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill, competent adults. Over the past month, legislators have heard emotional testimony from those in favor of and against the bill — many of whom were doctors, patients or family members that had been personally impacted by the issue. More HERE

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March 24, 2017hsa_logo

Bill to let dying patients take own lives is deferred
By Sophie Cocke

A bill that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain prescriptions for lethal doses of medication is dead for the year after the House Health Committee deferred the measure, saying, in part, that there were too many kinks to be worked out before the legislative session ends in May. The measure, which was a top priority of the Democratic Party this session, attracted the support of both the House speaker and Senate president, and was passed by the full Senate on a vote of 22-3 earlier this month. Gov. David Ige indicated earlier this year that he supported the concept of the bill, and the measure was backed by former Hawaii Govs. Neil Abercrombie, Ben Cayetano, John Waihee and George Ariyoshi. More HERE

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April 5, 2017

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Editorial| Island Voices
‘Cowards’ killed medical aid in dying
By Teresa Shook

EDITORS NOTE: Teresa Shook, of Maui, is the original founder of the Women’s March Washington.

Hawaii’s “Death With Dignity” Bill has been shelved. The bill would have allowed terminally ill people to have a choice to die without suffering. The title does not refer to the notion some people have that choosing to end life prior to its natural occurrence is the “coward’s way out.” The “cowards” are those who refused to support the bill. No matter which side of the fence our local politicians lean on, the “politics as usual” mentality will fail. The weight of the Resistance against entrenched systems that no longer serve the people will create a tipping point that breaks the stranglehold. Make no mistake — each and every political representative will be held accountable. More HERE

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MAY 4, 2017

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Town Square: 2017 Legislative Session Wrap
Moderated By Beth-Ann Kozlovich

The 2017 legislative session at the Hawaii State Capitol was a rollercoaster ride. In this edition of Town Square, our panel will take a look at which bills survived the session to become law, ones that died on the vine and issues left unresolved.

Panelists are Dr. Neal Milner, retired Professor at the University of Hawaii College of Social Sciences and the Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (PACE), and Dr. Colin Moore, Director of the Public Policy Center, University of Hawaii. Complete 1-hour podcast HERE

NOTE: This archived state-wide broadcast is a scathing Indictment of Hawaii’s one-party legislature (“a lack of leadership and transparency, secrecy, etc.”) and of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. The sad part is, these people are all Progressives!

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May 2, 2017
CivilBeat_MastLife And Death Drama — For Bills — At The Hawaii Legislature
A look at some of the survivors and casualties in the unpredictable waning days of the session.
By Chad Blair & Anita Hofschneider
Read the complete story HERE

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May 3, 2017

ThinkTechHawaiiWhat Did Not Pass Or Get Heard In The 2017 Hawaii Legislative Session?

Host Carl Campagna Welcomes Millennial Democrat Will Caron To Movers And Shakers to discuss which bills did and did not get heard or passed at the 2017 State Legislative Session. View the Video HERE

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May 3, 2017

ThinkTechHawaiiNavigating The Journey with Host Marsha Rose Joyner
“No Vote, No Grumble” with guest Alex Santiago.

NOTE: Alex Santiago is a lobbyist for senior and mental health issues. He’s a former Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and a former State Representative from Waianae. We’ve known Alex for 25+ years as an intelligent, mild-manner local gentleman and were greatly surprised to learn that he was willing to “name names” re the current legislature and the many insider actions he’s personally witnessed during his long political career. View this very candid video HERE

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 May, 4, 2017

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Goodbye Souki, Hello Saiki
By Anita Hofschneider & Chad Blair

“In a letter to his fellow House members, Souki said, “There were some disappointments this session such as the failure to pass the Compassionate Aid in Dying and the immunity for our lifeguards bills. With the dynamics in this legislature, we were also unable to agree with the Senate on funding to complete Honolulu’s rail system. I regret that on these issues we were not able to do the work of the people.”Souki said, “There were some disappointments this session such as the failure to pass the Compassionate Aid in Dying and the immunity for our lifeguards bills. With the dynamics in this legislature, we were also unable to agree with the Senate on funding to complete Honolulu’s rail system. I regret that on these issues we were not able to do the work of the people.” Complete article HERE

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May 4, 2017
logo-khon2-largeSouki resigns as House Speaker following ‘disappointments’ this Legislative session

“In a letter to his fellow House members, Souki said, “There were some disappointments this session such as the failure to pass the Compassionate Aid in Dying and the immunity for our lifeguards bills. With the dynamics in this legislature, we were also unable to agree with the Senate on funding to complete Honolulu’s rail system. I regret that on these issues we were not able to do the work of the people.”Souki said, “There were some disappointments this session such as the failure to pass the Compassionate Aid in Dying and the immunity for our lifeguards bills. With the dynamics in this legislature, we were also unable to agree with the Senate on funding to complete Honolulu’s rail system. I regret that on these issues we were not able to do the work of the people.” VIEW VIDEO & FULL TEXT HERERead deposed Speaker Joe Souki’s complete letter of resignation HERE

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May 4, 2017
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ETHICS FAIL

Chad Blair and News Anchor Robert Kekaula talk about how the biggest public works project (rail) in Hawaii’s history ended up with no financing deal at the end of this year’s legislative session, the failure of Medical Aid In Dying, and the massive “power grab” and shift in House and Senate leadership. View the video HERE. Read the companion Civil Beat story HERE

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MAY 04, 2017
AP_MasrNew leadership in Hawaii House as legislative session ends
BY Cathy Bussewitz

The Hawaii Legislature concluded with a sudden change in leadership in the state House of Representatives, ending a session marked by a failure to pass a major bill to fund Honolulu’s troubled rail transit project and the death of many other significant proposals. Read the complete AP story HERE

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May 4, 2017
hsa_logoSouki resigns as House speaker in leadership shake-up
By Kevin Dayton

“Souki said he regretted that lawmakers were unable to reach agreement this year on a bill to provide billions of dollars in additional funding for the Honolulu rail project, and also on a bill to allow physicians to prescribe lethal medications to people with terminal illnesses.” Read complete article HERE

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May 5, 2017
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“Office Hours” with Chad Blair and Anita Hofschneider
A candid view of the 2017 Hawai`i Legislative session
See the video HERE

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May 6, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 12.43.52 AM Wille New Hawaii County Democratic Party Chair

Margaret Wille talks about her goals and hopes as the newly elected chair of the Hawaii County Democrats during the annual party convention held at Kea’au High School.

“‘Part of the problem, Wille thinks, is the need for candidates “that really earn their (letter) D.Should every candidate be allowed to put a ‘D’ by their name?” Wille asked, “regardless of how they vote, or whether they block hearings on matters that are party priorities? I think there needs to be more accountability.’” View video and read the complete text HERE

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May 8, 2017
CivilBeat_MastWho Won And Who Lost In A Legislative Session Marked By Failure

The session cost some legislative leaders their jobs and may have brightened the political futures of others. More HERE

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May 8, 2017

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Longtime Maui lawmaker seriously considering a run for lieutenant governor
Deposed Thursday, former Speaker Souki ponders what’s next.

By Brian Perry

Longtime Maui lawmaker seriously considering a run for lieutenant governor
Joe Souki rested at his Wailuku home Friday, a day after being deposed as speaker of the state House of Representatives. He was reflective and willing to shed some light on the behind-the-scenes politics at the Capitol. “It was a tough day and the day before when I could see what was happening,” Souki said. He acknowledged that it stung to lose the speakership, which he held since 2013. But when he saw his support evaporating among a majority of House members, he decided to resign instead of going through a floor fight he knew he’d lose. Read the complete article HERE

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May 9, 2017
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EpicFail
State Legislature marred by secrecy, maneuvering and epic fail on rail
By Kevin Dayton

It is an odd-numbered year so most voters probably won’t notice or remember, but this was not the finest hour for Hawaii’s elected officials, or for openness in government. The most obvious misstep was the state Legislature’s embarrassing failure during its regular 60-day session to adopt a clear policy — any policy — to cope with the city’s inability to cover runaway cost increases for its 20-mile train project. More HERE

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