House Bill 1012, part of the governor’s legislative package, requests from the Hawaii Legislature $2.2 million to help with security for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting.
The money would be used by the Attorney General’s Office to plan for the event and provide funding for law enforcement personnel “and their related operating and equipment costs, including computers and software, to ensure a successful and safe APEC meeting,” according to the latest draft of the bill.
President Barack Obama is expected to welcome nearly two dozen world leaders to the meeting, which will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu this November.
But the bill failed to get a conference committee hearing last week. The only hope for HB 1012 now is for House and Senate leadership to pull the measure to the floor for a final vote on Tuesday or Thursday.
Leaders did not respond to inquiries about the status of the bill Monday, however a person close to the matter who didn’t have permission to speak publicly about it said the situation was “in flux.”
Security A ‘Daunting Task’
In Jan. 31 testimony and other testimony to follow, Attorney General David Louie said, “Providing security for this event is a daunting task that will require the combined resources of all federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies in our State.”
Louie said his office, the “designated lead state law enforcement agency,” would use the $2 million to ensure that his office and others “have the resources they need to plan, equip, train, and staff as required to provide security for APEC.”
“Past events of this magnitude have attracted protestors that can number in the tens of thousands. Most protestors are content to exercise their right of free speech and free assembly within the law. Others, however, protest violently, damage property, attack law enforcement, and attempt to disrupt or shut down the event. Modern protest organizations are often well funded, and traveling to Hawaii to protest APEC is well within the realm of possibility.”
Louie added, “There is also a reasonable expectation that crimes targeting tourists may increase during APEC. Minimizing this possibility will also require law enforcement resource.”
Louie’s initial request of $2.28 million breaks down as follows:
• Personnel Costs: (Overtime): $1,270,000 (208 officers for nine days plus training);
• Current Expense/Misc.: $300,000 (meals, fuel, etc.)
Louie also wrote, “In recognition of the current financial situation, all effort has been made to identify the minimal level of funding required to safely and adequately prepare for our role in APEC.”
Bill ‘An Imperative’
HB 1012 received not a single vote in opposition as it moved through the committee process, and lawmakers agreed) as late as April 8 that “it is imperative that the State provide a safe venue for the event.”
The Department of Public Safety also testified in support.
The only significant changes in the legislation concerned the amount of funding.
In a March 23 committee report, legislators said that the AG’s office “requested an unnecessarily high amount for bottled water that amounts to over ten bottles of water per shift for each state law enforcement officer. Additionally, the request included line items for a contingency ($100,000), fuel costs (calculated at $5 per gallon), and meals for assigned officers (calculated at $21 per shift).
The committee “curtailed” the amounts to $1.21 million:
• Personnel Costs: $640,860 (based on four hours of overtime for 310 officers and support staff for nine days);
• Equipment Costs: $555,725 (for facial recognition software, two workstations, one live-scan printer, two booking laptop computers, one fingerprint printer, and five RapID handheld devices);
• Miscellaneous Expenses: $17,140 (for one meal per officer per day at $8, two bottles of water per day per officer, no fuel amount, and no contingency).
Floor Vote Coming?
Louie and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, the administration’s point man on APEC, showed up for HB 1012 conference committee meetings on April 28 and April 29 to show their support for the measure.
Word circulated May 2 that the governor was urging House and Senate leaders to make the APEC funding bill one of a handful of measures to be reconsidered this week.
A spokeswoman for the governor said she could not comment on specific measures but did email, “I can confirm that the governor continues to stay in touch with leadership.”
Spokespersons for Louie and Schatz, meanwhile, declined to comment
If HB 1012 is to receive floor votes on Tuesday or Thursday, a dollar amount will need to be included in the bill and an “effective date” will need to added. The “defective date” — a common practice used to keep a bill alive yet keep it from moving through — for HB 1012 says the bill will take effect is July 1, 2022.
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