Lawmakers tackle medical marijuana, super PACs, spending

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HONOLULU — The Hawaii Legislature is heading into its final month and lawmakers are making deals in hopes of keeping their most important bills alive.

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HONOLULU — The Hawaii Legislature is heading into its final month and lawmakers are making deals in hopes of keeping their most important bills alive.

The committees that handle the money have thick agendas this week as they plow through every proposal that results in spending or revenue.

There’s only so much money to go around, so those panels will be making tough decisions on everything from ambulances to unfunded pension liabilities. Here’s where things stand on some key issues:

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Hawaii could pass a law to create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries nearly 15 years after the drug became legal for qualified patients. That bill is up for review by two Senate committees Monday morning.

SUPERPAC SPENDING

After an election where more money was spent by super PACs than any other in Hawaii history, voters want more information about who’s behind the ads dominating the airwaves during campaigns. One bill would require non-candidate committees to file an additional report during the election cycle. That bill is in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.

GENDER IDENTIFICATION

Some transgender people and their allies are trying to get a surgical requirement removed from the steps one has to take to change gender identification on a birth certificate. That bill will be in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday morning.

SEX TRAFFICKING

Hawaii is behind most states in the nation with its lack of a law banning sex trafficking. That bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon.

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UBER EXIT

A pending bill has ride-hailing company Uber threatening to leave Hawaii if it’s passed. The bill seeks to regulate transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft that rely on drivers with personal cars instead of the traditional taxi company model. The bill is in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

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