With Hawaii now lumbering into May, the state enters the second full month of emergency laws that keep most things shut down and most people at home.
They call it “stay at home/work from home”.
One of those things that has been shut down, kinda, has been the governmental entities of our courts and our legislature. Yes, there is still legislators doing stuff, like having informational hearings. But by and far, the business of the people, or the defending of the people through the courts, are not being done.
Instead, we are living under emergency rules, promulgated by the Governor and, now, a lesser extent, county mayors. And those rules seem to be opaquer as we go into yet another month of them. Just take a look at the flip-flop of whether florists would be able to sell flowers for Mother’s Day – they can sell, then they can’t sell after making thousands of dollars of orders, then they bark and moan, and then *poof* they can sell again.
Or when you allow big box retailers to sell those things, like furniture and TV’s, that others who are deemed non-essential, can’t. The rhyme or reason of some things is a bit baffling.
With that, we should probably recognize that the crisis of COVID-19, for Hawaii at least, has passed. Now instead of just trying to deal with things on a day-to-day manner, we should now figure out how to get things working again, long term.
There should be a call to re-start the legislature and the courts in good time. The rules that need to be changed to get society working again – too many here to list – need to be promulgated and passed by the legislature (the law-making body) and implemented by the executive (the Governor).
To make this happen, what the Legislature should do is gavel in for a one day in-chambers session, and pass whatever laws that are needed to allow for e-meetings and e-hearings. I am sure that there is a technological solution to allow for e-meetings and e-hearings.
While at it, pass laws that allow for the courts to resume operations via e-hearings. As with the legislature, there are things the courts need to rule on, including the lawsuits that are coming down against the state for their overreach during this crisis. This debate needs to happen here because it’s the courts that will create the baseline of what is over-reach or not.
And then we can all start to get used to the new world created because of this damn virus, and make things happen like how it was in the past.