Honolulu Mayor Vetoes Homeless-Centered Bill Expanding Honolulu Sit-Lie Ban

May 22, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ News

HONOLULU — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has vetoed a bill that would have expanded the city’s ban on sitting and lying down on sidewalks.

Caldwell has been a champion of the city’s sit-lie bans, which began in Waikiki after complaints from the tourism industry and local residents and expanded to include Chinatown and other commercial areas.

But Caldwell said Thursday that the city would face legal challenges if he signed Bill 6 into law, which could jeopardize Honolulu’s existing sit-lie bans.

His administration proposed an alternative that he says the city can defend.

“We want to make sure that any bill that we pass, particularly when it deals with people’s civil rights, that we do things that are defendable,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell explained that the previous sit-lie bills targeted sidewalks in business districts, but the expansion recently approved by the council was problematic because it extended the bans into some noncommercial areas such as the bank of a canal where a small tent city emerged.


“If it looks like the government is trying to target homeless just because they’re homeless, that’s where you open up this direct attack saying these bills are not about commerce, it’s not about using our sidewalks to conduct business, it’s about going after homeless folks,” Caldwell said.

“It could jeopardize other sit-lie bills that are working very well outside this community,” Caldwell added.

Read more http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-mayor-veto-homeless-bill-honolulu-sit-lie-ban/