Maui News

Hawai’i House Moves 69 Bills Over to Senate

March 1, 2013, 9:42 AM HST
* Updated March 1, 10:43 AM
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State seal.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

State seal. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The state House moved 69 bills over to the Senate yesterday. The items that advanced include several focused on sustainability, the environment, the economy, healthy living, and improving the quality of life in Hawai’i.

One bill relating to the General Excise Tax would provide local farmers with a tax deduction for all produce grown and sold within the state; another bill relating to the film and digital media industry encourages new production in Hawaii and diversity the economy by enhancing existing incentives; and a tourism bill relating to the transient accommodations tax seeks a repeal of the $10 daily hotel tax collected on rooms furnished on a complimentary or gratuitous basis. Bill supporters say this would help the industry retain a competitive edge in its promotion and marketing efforts.

Below is a list of some of the items that House items that remain alive in the state Legislature:

  • HB 503 Relating to the General Excise Tax. The bill provides local farmers with a tax deduction for all produce grown and sold within the state.
  • HB 478 Relating to the Department of Education. The bill allows schools to establish their own gardens and to utilize the produce in their meal programs.
  • HB 560 Relating to Affordable Housing Urban Gardening. The bill encourages development projects to incorporate urban gardening into their plans.
  • HB 1365 Relating to Urban Agriculture. The bill allows for a rooftop garden on the State Capitol roof to promote agricultural innovation and greater food security in Hawaii and serve as a symbol of the importance our state places on agriculture sustainability.
  • HB 726 Relating to Film and Digital Media Industry Development. The purpose of the bill is to encourage new film, television, entertainment, digital media and music video production in Hawaii by enhancing existing incentives and thus adding to the diversification of our economy.
  • HB 1339 Relating to the Transient Accommodations Tax. The bill intends to help the tourism industry retain its competitive edge in its promotional and marketing efforts by repealing the $10 daily hotel tax collected on rooms furnished on a complimentary or gratuitous basis.
  • HB120 Relating to Health. The bill protects the health and safety of the public by enhancing public access regarding information on care homes.
  • HB 358 Relating to Video Conferencing. The bill would make it more accessible for neighbor island residents to participate in state government. It requires that the Legislature establish audio visual procedures for people on the neighbor islands to provide oral testimony at legislative committee hearings.
  • HB 1432 Relating to Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The bill would support the elderly and aging population by appropriating an unspecified amount of funds to statewide aging and disability centers.

A Maui-specific bill that would help fund an Environmental Impact Statement for the nourishment of Ka’anapali Beach gained unanimous passage on the House floor yesterday.

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