The Kauai County Clerk has rejected Kauai Rising's sweeping proposed charter amendment on technical grounds.
The group apparently failed to follow the correct format for creating a petition, despite being given samples to work from. As a result, its paperwork is invalid and all the signatures must be collected again, within a month, for a chance to appear on the November ballot.
The 18-page anti-ag amendment would create an all-powerful Office of Environmental Health under the sole control of the County Council, impose stringent regulations on the use of toxins, greatly expand the right of citizens to sue and recover legal fees and damages even if they don't win, and would allow people to be found guilty of violations without requiring proof that the defendant "knew or intended that such action, activities or conduct, or failure to act, would cause or contribute to the violation."
It has been billed as the “next step” after Bill 2491/Ordinance 960 — the county's pesticide/GMO regulatory law. That measure targets Kauai Coffee and four seed/chemical companies growing crops on the island. DOW, Syngenta, BASF and Dupont-Pioneer are suing the county over the law, due to take effect in August, and have said the charter amendment is similarly discriminatory.
The signatures that were turned in were not verified because the document itself was flawed. Nor did the county resolve the question of whether the lengthy, multi-faceted proposal is in fact an ordinance, which would require more signatures to qualify for the ballot, or a charter amendment.
Additionally, many signatures were collected from people who were not given a copy of the full amendment to review, but simply a summary.