We have passed over 150 bills today. Some of them will benefit our residents and improve their quality of life.
But too many of these bills will hurt those of us who live in Hawaii; making it harder to take care of our families, pay our bills, and find a job.
The Senate voted down a proposal to tax the pensions of our senior citizens, based on advice from the State Attorney General that this bill may violate the State Constitution. But the pension tax is still alive since it passed the House, despite the objections of the House Republican Caucus who strongly object to imposing a tax on elderly who often live on fixed incomes.
At the start of the 2011 session my Caucus colleagues and I set forth 5 principles. These principles can be summed up as:
Do no harm to Hawaii’s families
Do no harm to Hawaii’s jobs
Do no harm to Hawaii’s economy
Yet many of the bills passed today do exactly the oppose.
Twenty-two (22) of these bills increase fees and taxes. They include increasing the vehicle weight tax and registration fees that will make it more costly to operate a car at a time when families are already coping with gasoline prices in excess of $4.00 a gallon.
The Democrat-controlled legislature is making it harder on our small businesses to keep their doors open.
General contractors and subcontractors will be double taxed.
Credit unions and anyone owed money who wants to file in court, will have their fees nearly doubled for making court filings.
We are excessively increasing penalties and fine under the occupational safety act.
We are taxing liquor to the point that small diners and fancy restaurants like Roys will have a hard time.
For our visitors, the main driver of our economy, we are extending the surcharge on rental cars and taxing timeshares.
We do not have a deficit because we don’t tax our people enough—we have a deficit because we spend too much.
As an editorial from Jay Fidel said in today’s Star Advertiser:
‘This is an economy where we work too hard to pay the rent, where our aspirations soften as we age, and where the government nickels and dimes us but still can’t fix the potholes.’
The House Republican Caucus has shown that we can balance the state budget, meet our priorities, encourage job creation, and create hope for the future.
I invite all of my colleagues to a Balanced Budget Summit on April 20th in the auditorium of this building, starting at 10:00 AM. In conjunction with the American Legislative Exchange Council of Washington DC, we will provide a toolkit and an interactive website to help States meet their fiscal responsibilities without burdening their citizens.
Before session ends, we need to stop those bills that hurt Hawaii. Let’s work together to DO NO HARM.”