Voice of Kapolei

From May edition of Voice of Kapolei

As we near the end of the legislative session for 2012, here are some of the bills I wanted you to know about.

HB 2514 would allow criminals to be back on the street within several days after their arrests, and it would release known felons into society 12- 18 months sooner than their original sentencing dictates. The logic behind this bill is that it would help us reduce prison overcrowding, but I know releasing convicts back onto the streets quicker is not the best way to do this. I have serious concerns about this bill. We need to be harder on criminals to protect victims.

HB 1033 would form the Clean Economy Bank of the State of Hawaii, which would back renewable energy projects with tax dollars. This state-operated bank is one of the most unsettling initiatives going through this legislative session.

HB 2798 creates a Veterans Treatment Court in Hawaii. Many veterans return from deployment disoriented because of the challenges they faced fighting abroad. Veterans court can keep veterans out of emergency rooms, hospitals, and prison by utilizing volunteer veteran mentor programs.  These programs have been successful in other states. Hospitalization and prison are costly intervention measures that hurt taxpayers, so this veterans court will help strengthen our economy in the long run. It is crucial we show our appreciation for veterans by supporting the creation of a Hawaii Veterans Court. Veterans have done so much for us, so we must take this opportunity to give back to them in a way that strengthens our community.  >> cont..