Conference Procedures

The Conference Procedures have been agreed upon, and they’re conveniently located on the Legislature’s home page.  Take a look here!

While both the House and Senate rules discuss conference committees to some extent (from www.capitol.hawaii.gov, go to “House” or “Senate” then “Rules”), these “procedures” clarify specific agreements on items such as public notice, what to do if a quorum isn’t met, and deadlines for providing final drafts.

If the Senate and House have decided on different versions of a bill (or resolution), several Representatives and Senators will be appointed to a conference committee on that individual measure, in hopes of working out a compromise that is agreeable to both chambers. Their meetings will always be open to the public, though formal public testimony won’t be accepted.  (This is because the public already had several opportunities to provide their input during hearings that were previously held regarding the bill or resolution.)  However, people can still call, write, or email the committee members to express their views.

If the conferees successfully reach an agreement on the final form of a measure, that version will need to be agreed upon by both chambers during floor sessions. It will need to be scheduled for that vote by the Final Decking deadline – April 28th for non-fiscal bills, April 29th for fiscal bills.

Any final votes on bills and resolutions need to take place before the end of session, May 5, in order for the measures to be sent to the Governor.

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