Hawaii Lege Overrides|Veto of Maui Hospital Bill

     HONOLULU (CN) — The Hawaii Legislature voted Wednesday to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of legislation to give retirement benefits to Maui County hospital workers displaced by hospital privatization.
     The privatization bill, which was signed into law by Ige as Act 103 in 2015, transfers day-to-day operations of three Maui County hospitals to health care giant Kaiser. The move will save the state $260 million over the next decade, Ige predicted.
     The two sides parted ways after the Legislature passed a subsequent measure to assist public employees who might lose their jobs in the privatization.
     Ige vetoed Senate Bill 2077, saying it could cost the state more than $60 million. He then introduced his own legislation, which lawmakers took no action on.
     The House voted 43 to 3 to override Ige’s veto, and the Senate followed suit with an 18 to 4 vote.
     In response, the governor released a press statement saying that the concerns expressed in the his original veto message have not changed: the bill jeopardizes the Employee Retirement Systems tax-exempt status, does not appropriate funds to pay employees, and hurts the state’s long-term finances.
     Ige said that going forward, he is committed to working with United Public Workers in order to resolve a temporary injunction issued by the Ninth Circuit over concerns that came to light during an April hearing — that the Constitution prohibits legislation that impairs an existing contract — and to provide a smooth transition of medical services for the people of Maui.

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