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State House kills bill curtailing emergency powers

HONOLULU — The state House on Tuesday killed a bill that would have curtailed the governor’s emergency powers, a measure that was introduced after the coronavirus pandemic prompted Gov. David Ige to issue 19 emergency proclamations to suspend laws, impose travel quarantines and take other steps to address the public health crisis.

The bill said that if the Legislature terminated an emergency proclamation and the governor wanted to issue another one for the same emergency or disaster, lawmakers would have to adopt a resolution authorizing such action. The bill also said that the state of emergency would be authorized for no more than 60 days.

The representatives didn’t debate their decision and conducted a voice vote to set the bill aside by sending it back to a conference committee. Because the session ends Thursday, there’s not enough time remaining for lawmakers to rework the bill and return it to the House floor.

The Senate passed the bill 24-1.

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