Maui Sugar Worker Assistance Among 150 Bills Passed by Senate

April 12, 2016, 2:41 PM HST · Updated October 18, 1:25 PM
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Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Senate Majority.

Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Senate Majority.

Members of the State Senate today passed 150 House bills including measures that address teacher travel exceptions, water rights and assistance for displaced Maui sugar workers.

The bills will be returning to the House ahead of the final crossover deadline of Thursday, April 14, 2016.

“We attempted to move forward measures we felt reflected the priorities of the Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English, (Dist. 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe). “There are a number of areas in which the House and Senate share a mutual concern. We’ll work on the details in conference and I’m hopeful the outcome will be responsible bills,” he said.

Senate leaders say a majority of the bills will move into conference committees where the House and Senate Conferees will convene to discuss their respective drafts and come to an agreement on a final amended version.

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An item identified as a top priority for the Hawai‘i Senate Majority is concerns homelessness and housing. A number of measures that focus on these issues were passed by the Senate, including: HB2647 HD2 SD2, which establishes a three-year Work for a Day pilot program to be administered by the City and County of Honolulu that provides homeless individuals with work opportunities; and HB2244 HD1 SD2 which appropriates funds to support housing programs.

Measures passing third reading that protect the environment, another priority of the Senate program, include: HB1050 SD2 which appropriates funds to the Department of Agriculture to address the interisland spread of invasive species; and HB2646 HD2 SD2 that creates a permanent fuel tank advisory committee to study, monitor, and address fuel tank leak issues.

The Senate also passed bills that support good governance including: HB1653 HD1 SD1 implementing election by mail beginning with the primary election in 2018; and HB2632 HD2 SD2 which requires firearms owners who are diagnosed with a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder or for treatment for organic brain syndromes, or due to emergency or involuntary hospitalization, to immediately surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police.

Other significant House measures passed by the Senate include:

HB260 HD1 SD1 establishes motor vehicle insurance requirements for transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers.

HB1072 HD1 SD2 enables the board of psychology to accept applications for prescriptive authority privilege and grant prescriptive authority to prescribing psychologists who meet specific education, training, and registration requirements.

HB1700 HD1 SD1 adjusts and requests appropriations for Fiscal Biennium 2015‑-17 funding requirements for operations and capital improvement projects of Executive Branch agencies and programs.

HB1713 HD2 SD2 exempts extracurricular service of employees from the state ethics code if certain conditions are met. Defines detached remuneration and extracurricular service.

HB1787 HD3 SD2 creates and appropriates funds for Erin’s Law Task Force to review policies, programs, and curricula for educating public school students about sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention, and report recommendations for the establishment of a program to educate public school children on sexual abuse prevention through age appropriate curricula.

HB1902 HD2 SD1 replaces the term “promoting prostitution in the first degree” with the term “sex trafficking,” as a class A felony and establish that prosecution is required to prove only that the person committing the offense of sex trafficking acted negligently if the person knowingly advanced or profited from prostitution of a minor. Includes the offense of sex trafficking in the department of the attorney general’s statewide witness program.

HB1907 HD2 SD2 requires all law enforcement agencies and departments charged with maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault evidence collection kits to conduct an inventory of all kits they store and transmit a report of the number of untested sexual assault evidence kits they possess to the department of the attorney general.

HB2263 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds for the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to conduct an economic assessment study on the development and economic viability of a small satellite launch and processing facility on the Island of Hawai‘i.

HB2501 HD2 SD2 requires that where an application has been made for a lease to continue a previously authorized disposition of water rights, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for three years, whichever is sooner. Requires that the holdover is consistent with the public trust doctrine and any applicable law.

HB2605 HD1 SD2 appropriates funds to establish, administer, and support on-the-job training for individuals who are unemployed and dislocated due to the closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and the Mākena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui.

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