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ThinkTech Hawaii: The Demise of Gut and Replace (Talking Tax)

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A Rumor Greatly Exaggerated. The host for this show is Jay Fidell. The guest is Tom Yamachika.

On November 4, the Supreme Court of Hawaii released its decision in League of Women Voters v. State. The decision was a huge step in the right direction. But will it get rid of all gut-and-replaces and eliminate Frankenbills (where pieces of dead bills get new life by stuffing them into tangentially related other bills with a suitable title)?

Probably not. Amendments are still allowed. A person challenging a bill still needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the bill is unconstitutional. And remember, it took a 3-2 vote to hold that recidivism and hurricane shelters are unrelated. The standard the court seems to be adopting is “whether the amendments and the original bill constitute a unifying scheme to accomplish a single purpose.”

Determining what is or is not germane is not going to be easy in most cases.

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