Acknowledging & Preserving the Rights of "Home Rule"
What is "home rule" and why is it important for Hawai‘i?
In Hawai`i today, home rule means the rights of counties to pass laws to protect the welfare of their residents. In Hawai`i, state law grants counties the power to "protect health, life and property."
Three Hawai`i counties are currently being sued by the world's largest biotech chemical companies (Syngenta, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, DuPont-Pioneer and BASF) to prevent the enforcement of counties laws passed in 2013 and 2014 to better regulate pesticides and GMO production and protect the health of the community and environment.
Why are chemical corporations attacking Home Rule?
Since the passing of county ordinances on Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i counties, the state government is being pressured by biotech chemical company lobbyists to preempt county authority relating to agriculture and pesticides. Senate Bill (SB) 3046 and House Bill (HB) 849, for example, both read: “Amends Hawaii's Right to Farm Act to ensure that counties cannot enact laws, ordinances, or resolutions to limit the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in agricultural practices.”
Corporations have specifically stated that they are threatened by laws passed by local governments, as they do not want us to set an example for other communities that aim to protect themselves, their health and environment. (See video testimony starting at 2:47)
What can you do?
Help preserve the ability of counties in Hawai‘i to protect their residents!