Memo: Hawaii Legislature scheduled for special session

Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki sent a memo last week to the Hawaii Legislature, alerting them to a special session tentatively scheduled for late August. This comes after they sent a letter to the Federal Transit Administration in June announcing their intentions for a special session to create a solution for funding the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. The $10 billion project is facing a $1.4 billion shortfall.

TO: All Members of the Legislature

FROM: Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi
House Speaker Scott K. Saiki

RE: Availability for Proposed Special Session

As you know, the Senate and House leadership recently polled members as to their availability in July or August for a special session. Based on the poll results, it appears that the latter part of August is most conducive to members’ schedules. Accordingly, subject to final confirmation and an agreement on proposed language for bill(s) to be discussed in a special session, please mark August 28, 2017 – September 1, 2017, as the date for a special session. We request that you refrain from making out-of-state travel plans during that time.

The purpose of the special session is to address rail financing and the City and County of Honolulu’s adherence to its Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. Negotiations between the Senate and House have occurred for some time and are ongoing. We are optimistic that the lead committee chairs have held, and will continue to hold, productive discussions.

We will confirm the special session schedule as soon as practicable. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

cc: Carol Taniguchi, Chief Clerk of the Senate
Brian T. Takeshita, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives
Ben Villaflor, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms
Rod Tanonaka, House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms