Legislative Priorities: 2021 Session
The 2021 Legislative Session adjourned on April 29, 2021. The Session opened with The Legislature declaring that their focus would be on:
- Addressing the budget shortfall;
- COVID response related measures; and
- Climate change
Over 200 bills now head to Governor Ige for approval or veto. The full list of measures that passed the Legislature can be found here. GCA, BIA, Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, and the Construction Industry of Maui requested that the Governor consider vetoing SB 1329 SD2 HD3 CD1, which removes the cash or protest bond cap for parties initiating administrative proceedings for review of certain protest decisions. Please see recent Civil Beat and Pacific Business News articles for more information. Unfortunately, SB 1329 was not included on the Governor’s intent to veto list. Therefore, we will work to address it during the next legislative session.
This years stats include:
GCA advocated on behalf of the construction industry throughout the session. We focused our advocacy on opposing efforts attempting to raise the cost of construction, supporting preserving employers’ rights, supporting/opposing various procurement code amendments, and supporting state construction initiatives. Some of our major accomplishments include:
- Advocating for the State to cover the costs of replenishing the unemployment fund instead of placing the burden on businesses Act 1 (HB1278 HD1) ;
- Removing language that would have suspended the contractors GET exemption for the next two years HB 58 HD1 SD1 CD1;
- Preserving an employer’s right to make employment decisions based on a person's positive test result for cannabis regardless of that person’s status as a medical cannabis cardholder SB 64 SD1; and
- Supporting the State’s plan to develop a new stadium and its surrounding areas HB1348 HD2 SD2 CD1 .
Despite our efforts, the legislature passed a measure that requires the State Procurement Office to establish and administer a past performance database and adopt rules regarding information and procedures associated with the past performance database, by 12/31/2023. We will be exhausting all options on addressing this measure, including working with the State Procurement Office to ensure that our concerns are taken into account during the rule making process. HB 526 HD1 SD2 CD1
Additionally, the Legislature failed to renew the provision that allows the University of Hawaii President to serve as the Chief Procurement Officer for construction related procurements. GCA had advocated for its continuation throughout the legislative session. HB 1067 HD1 SD1
Going forward, the Legislative Committee will use this interim to address a potential industry compromise regarding the subcontractor listing requirements. This will hopefully allow us to introduce legislation next session that will be supported by the various state departments, general contractors, and subcontractors.
For any questions or more insights on this review, please contact Ryan Sakuda, Government Relations Director, GCA of Hawaii at email@example.com.
Continue reading to find out how some of the bills affecting the industry fared during the 2021 Legislative Session.