After marathon sessions on April 28 and April 29, what else is there left to do at the 2011 Hawaii Legislature?
Most of the bills that survived last week’s “final decking” must now be voted on by the state House and Senate beginning Tuesday and, if need be, concluding Thursday.
There is still time to kill a bill, or to radically rewrite one — like that last grasp for a gambling casino that was squashed in the waning hours last week.
This time, however, the floor sessions will be televised, so the public and media will be following along.
Which isn’t to say something won’t happen.
One red flag is whenever the Senate or House Democratic caucuses calls a recess and then disappears for extended periods of time behind closed doors, only to emerge later with a proposed floor amendment.
This is when Republicans sit and stew and then complain about back-door dealing. Which it is.
Could something dramatic happen? In a session that has been so intense, of course.
Think about how the House and Senate have had major differences over taxing pension incomes, for example.
Here’s the week’s schedule:
• Monday, May 2: There is an afternoon deadline to submit measures for inclusion on the consent calendar, meaning the list of bills to be voted on Tuesday. No floor session.
• Tuesday, May 3: Floor session begins around 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. in both chambers. This is the last big day for most bills.
This session, the Senate has managed to wrap big floor sessions up by the lunch hour, while the House has finished around late afternoon or early evening. Both times are significantly earlier than in sessions past.
• Wednesday, May 4: No floor session. A recess day.
• Thursday, May 5: Floor session in both chambers begins sometime between 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. As noted earlier, there could still be major unfinished business. And surprises: Remember the last-minute revival of civil unions in the House two years ago?
And, unless the session is extended by House and Senate leadership — something that does not seem likely right now — the Legislature will adjourn, sing songs and cry.
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