UPDATE: Sen. Gary Hooser plans to pull the civil unions bill out of committee tomorrow and onto senate floor for a vote, March 25th.
And support for the bill continues to grow with clery members voicing their support by lobbying their legislators.
Last heard from Hawaii, the civil unions bill, House Bill 444, was deadlocked in a subcommittee. Yet numbers released Saturday show that 81% of Hawaii agree with civil unions.
Sen. Gary Hooser, the bill's sponsor, highly encouraged by these numbers, is now working to push the bill to the floor for a vote and get it passed the deadlocked committee.
“As the person who was the sponsor of the Senate Bill, and as the majority leader ... most would believe that I would be the appropriate person to make the motion,” said Hooser, a Democrat representing Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, in a phone interview with The GardenIsland.com. “If there’s a majority consensus, I would make a motion in my capacity as majority leader. If there’s no consensus, then I’ll make the motion as an individual senator.”
Having passed the House in February and sensing that 18 of 25 senators will vote for the measure, Sen. Hooser needs to get a motion passed in the committee by one-third of its members to pull the bill to the floor for a vote.
“The preferable way to conduct business is if you have the votes to pass something, then you’d initiate a pull. But it’s not the only way. Sometimes you don’t know if you’d have the votes until the pull is initiated,” he said. “I would prefer, and my hopes are, that the bill is pulled with support from the majority. (But) as an individual senator, I have an obligation, and the right thing to do is to allow the full Senate to vote on it.”
He has until next month to successfully pull the bill, otherwise the bill could stall until next month.
ACTION: Do your part and contact the Senate Judiciary Committee to pull the bill and get it to the floor for a vote. Their constituency supports it. So should they.
Senator Robert Bunda [OPPOSED]
Senator Sam Slom [OPPOSED]
Senator Mike Gabbard [OPPOSED]
Senator Brian Taniguchi [SUPPORTS]
Senator Clarence K. Nishihara [SUPPORTS]
Dwight Takamine [SUPPORTS]