Lockdowns without limits can happen again if changes not made

By Melissa Newsham

It has been greater than two years since Hawaii’s coronavirus restrictions have been put into place, and as they’ve slowly been lifted, life within the islands is lastly beginning  to resemble the pre-pandemic “normal.”

We should keep in mind, nevertheless, that these restrictions can simply be reinstated with the stroke of a pen as a result of our state’s emergency-management regulation has not modified. 

This may all occur once more until needed checks are put in place. 


Understandably, many appear to need to simply neglect in regards to the crippling financial hardship, social isolation, ideological polarization and common uncertainty of the final two years. 

Legislation has been proposed that might set up limits on the governor’s powers durng an emergency. However, it’s going to all be for naught if it doesn’t make sure that so-called “emergencies’’ can’t be endlessly or arbitrarily renewed. 

Throughout the lockdowns, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has been calling on our legislative leaders to place the brakes in place that might stop the governor from perpetually renewing emergency orders with out legislative approval.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 restrictions are waning, however our emergency-management statute stays essentially the identical. 

So we must always not really feel like celebration poopers when the state nonetheless has the identical instruments in hand to close down on a regular basis actions — together with colleges and folks’s livelihoods — for prolonged durations with just about no limits. 

We ought to have a good time the lifting of mandates and be inspired by the financial restoration that’s underway. 

But allow us to proceed to advocate for a greater steadiness between the manager’s emergency powers, our freedoms and authorities accountability.

Melissa Newsham is a analysis affiliate with the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.



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