Welcome to Capitol Watch. Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie is already in transition mode, there’s new leadership at the Legislature and other government branches, and Civil Beat is reporting on it all.

2:57 p.m. Abercrombie laying low pre-travel

Unless you’re directly involved in the gubernatorial transition, don’t expect to see much of the governor-elect until he returns from his trip to Colorado for the National Governors Association Seminar.

Neil Abercrombie doesn’t have any events on his public schedule before he leaves tomorrow night.

“He’s pretty much all consumed with transition stuff,” spokesman Jim McCoy told Civil Beat.

12:20 p.m. Senators Take Small Step for Akaka Bill — Just In Case

Prospects for the Akaka Bill are grim. But just in case proponents can get a vote in the lame-duck session of Congress, they’ve introduced a new version of the bill to reflect the compromise language [pdf] agreed to by Gov. Linda Lingle this summer.

Senate Bill 3945 was introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka on Monday, quickly read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

“The Senators wanted to put the amended bill, as agreed to with the Governor, into the Record because they intend to honor the commitment that was made to her if we are able to have it considered by the Senate before Congress adjourns,” Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Akaka, said in an e-mail to Civil Beat. “However, to get technical, if it does come to the floor it could still be the old bill number (maybe the House version) which Sen. Akaka would then ask to amend with that substitute amendment.

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