HOUSE READY FOR CONFERENCE WITH SENATE
The State House of Representatives has wrapped up its evaluation of Senate proposals and is prepared to begin conference with the Senate, according to House leaders. In conference, members of the House and Senate meet to resolve differences in bills that have been approved by both bodies.
"We have already initiated preliminary discussions with the Senate on areas of agreement and disagreement," said Rep. Ed Case (D - Manoa), House Majority Leader. "We can and should be in formal conference on all measures by early next week."
Case added that revisions to the legislative schedule from prior years should allow two full weeks to complete the work of the conference committees.
The House today was expected to complete its deliberations on virtually all bills submitted by the Senate in mid-March for evaluation. House-originated measures were submitted for Senate review a month ago also and are simultaneously receiving final Senate review.
"We know where the differences are at this point and we are prepared to resolve them. With so much work ahead, particularly on the State budget, the House believes it's in the best interest of the people that we begin conference as soon as possible," Case said.
The House today was expected to complete its deliberations on some 150 Senate bills (see attached list of highlights). Case said the House, in its review of Senate bills, continued to apply the priorities it established early in the session.
"Our focus, as reflected in the House bills we passed over to the Senate, remains economic revitalization, government efficiency, education, public safety, and healthy families and communities," he said. "Not all of those elements were present in the Senate bills, so the Senate bills we are passing out today re-emphasize but do not reflect the full scope of the House's priorities.
"We will be looking in conference to achieve our goals using both House and Senate vehicles," he added.
The conference schedule calls for the House and Senate to complete the naming of conferees on Monday, April 19, and filing final conference reports on non-fiscal bills by midnight April 29 and on fiscal measures a day later. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 4, and Case said the House has every intention of adhering to this schedule and adjourning on time.