- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Nearly 2,900 bills were introduced in the first week of Hawaii’s 2015 Legislative session. Now the committees are getting to work to craft and shape those proposals into policy ideas that will last. Only a few hundred bills are likely to survive the session, and the first tough decisions will be made in the upcoming weeks.

Three things to watch this week at the Hawaii Legislature:

CLAWS OUT - Removing a cat’s claws or helping a veterinarian with the procedure would become a misdemeanor under a bill before the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on Monday. House Majority Leader Scott Saiki introduced the bill that refers to the procedure as cruelty to animals.

HAWAIIAN RIGHTS - State law protects the rights of Native Hawaiians to practice certain traditions and customs but not everyone understands what that means. A bill would require the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to develop a training program, and members of boards dealing with land, development, environment and other areas would be required to attend. The bill will be heard in the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs on Wednesday.

ECIG BAN - Hawaii could outlaw vaping, or smoking with electronic devices, everywhere that traditional smoking is banned in a proposal before the House Health Committee on Wednesday. The committee also plans to take up bills that would ban the devices in state hospitals, parks and condominiums.



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