April 8, 1997

Senate Offers The House Another Constitutional Amendment
April 8, 1997

Four Senate conferees offered the House a constitutional amendment that states that the Legislature shall have the power to regulate marriage licenses (exact wording will be supplied later).  This is their latest draft of HB 117 (I have refrained from broadcasting numerous intermediate drafts that last at best a few days).  In conjunction with HB 117, the Senate insisted
on a slightly changed Senate version of HB 118, the reciprocal beneficiaries bill.  Among the changes is this:  HB 118 will take effect immediately upon approval by the legislature and the governor (the earlier drafts were conditioned upon approval by the voters of HB 117 in the November 1998 election; the Attorney General has advised the Senate that such conditional approval is unconstitutional).

The Constitutional Amendment bill, HB 117, is practically what the House demands.  HB 118 is far from the House's position,
which is much narrower in the list of benefits which the House would grant "reciprocal beneficiaries".  Will the House accept this package?  Please stay tuned.

The conferees adjourned without setting another meeting time, subject to being recalled by the chairs.

                        Tom Ramsey
                        President, Friends of h.e.r.m.p

P.S.  The ACLU of Hawaii, Marriage Project - Hawaii, and Friends of h.e.r.m.p have been reaching out to the public with print, radio and TV advertising.  This is expensive, high profile work!

If you wish to help them wage this battle effectively, please contribute to
                        Marriage Project - Hawaii
                        PO Box 11690
                        Honolulu, HI 96828
                        (tax-deductible; formerly h.e.r.m.p)

                        Friends of h.e.r.m.p
                        PO Box 11690
                        Honolulu, HI 96828

Friends of h.e.r.m.p has a 900 number, 1-900-97-MARRY, for donations by telephone (age 18+).

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