Ethics complaint filed by outdoors enthusiasts over bill changes

04/11/2014 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Honolulu – An ethics complaint has been filed by a group of outdoor recreational enthusiasts against a lawmaker over proposed changes to a measure that could lead to the expansion of public access to trails and mountains in Hawaii. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the bill would have afforded protections to the state against lawsuits if hikers and others became injured on lands owned by the state that had man made features such as ropes and climbing walls.

Rep. Sylvia Luke’s changes to the measure removed some of the major components that led many outdoors groups to support it in hopes that some lands would be reopened. The state had closed some areas due to lawsuits over accidents. The complaint accuses Luke’s position as an attorney as creating a conflict of interest regarding her consideration of legislation that may impact the state being exposed to personal injury lawsuits.

The amended version of the bill was passed on Tuesday. Luke is quoted by the AP as stating of the changes, “It’s taking a front-end approach…The end result would be making sure we have great access to public lands but ensuring the state have full immunity — not like what was in the bill.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Hawaii Legal News

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