Hawai‘i State Senate reconvenes for three week session: All proceedings will be live streamed

The Hawai‘i State Senate is scheduled to resume its 2020 session June 22 to July 10. Committees will be considering a limited number of critical bills that were put on hold when the Senate was forced to recess in mid-March due to COVID-19. The Senate will also be allocating additional federal funding from the CARES Act.

“The Hawai‘i State Senate is going to reconvene with no action taken by the U.S. Senate on the HEROES bill, unfortunately,” said Senate President Ron Kouchi. The HEROES Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 15, 2020 and would provide $1 trillion to state and local governments facing revenue shortfalls such as Hawai‘i and its four counties. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate has still not acted on the bill.

“Instead, our primary budgetary focus will be on deploying the existing federal CARES Act money,” said Senate President Kouchi. “Mahalo to the Ways and Means and Finance Committee chairs and their staff who worked diligently on this proposal.”

The Senate floor session will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 22, with hearings getting underway that morning. The session is scheduled to adjourn on Friday, July 10. The new legislative timetable is available here: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/docs/2020calendar.pdf

Due to the pandemic, the State Capitol building remains closed to the public at this time.

To allow access to the proceedings, the Senate will be providing live streams of all Senate hearings and floor sessions in real time, on YouTube and/or ‘Ōlelo and neighbor island cable networks, with live closed captioning. A list of upcoming and archived Senate hearings is available here: http://olelo.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=13

The public is encouraged to participate by submitting written testimony. No in-person testimony will be allowed at this time due to COVID-19. To submit testimony, please visit: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx

The Hawai‘i State Senate’s 2020 session was originally scheduled to take place from January 15 to May 7, but the Senate was forced to recess in mid-March due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Senate held a two week reconvene on May 11 to pass time-sensitive budget bills and nominations from the governor.