Senate Passes 208 Bills Ahead of Crossover Deadline
The Senate on Tuesday, passed 134 House bills on third reading that seek to address many issues including affordable housing, economic development, and protection from invasive species. An additional 74 House bills previously passed third reading in the Senate, for a total of 208 bills, ahead of the Second Crossover deadline of April 13.
The bills passed on third reading will be transmitted to the House and many will be referred to a committee on conference where House and Senate members will meet jointly to remedy differences in House and Senate positions.
“These bills reflect the Senate’s focus on the priorities set forth in the Legislative Program which aim to support our communities, our environment, good governance and sustainability,” said Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English (Dist. 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe). “The challenge will be to provide funding for all these measures and the proposed GIA in light of diminishing revenues and requirements to pay for increasing fixed costs such as pension payments.”
“The passage of these measures illustrate the continued effort of the Senate to improve the lives of the people of Hawai‘i,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (Dist. 8 – Kaua’i, Ni’ihau). “However, as we head into conference, the onus continues to be on the legislature to find funding sources for measures, ensure that we meet our current financial obligations while exercising fiscal responsibility.”
A few of the key measures passed by the Senate which reflect the Senate Legislative Program are included below:
Ola Lehulehu – People and Communities
HB957 HD1 SD2 Authorizes the Department of Education to borrow moneys interest-free from the Hawai‘i green infrastructure loan program for heat abatement measures at public schools. Requires the Department of Education to make payments on the loan from revenues saved by energy efficiency measures.
HB480 HD1 SD1 Makes an appropriation to the Hawai‘i community college for the Hawai‘i community college and University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the Agribusiness Development Corporation, to study agriculture and agricultural learning opportunities on the island of Hawai‘i. Requires the Hawai‘i community college to submit a report to the legislature.
HB527 HD1 SD2 appropriates funds to purchase, staff, and operate two mobile clinics to serve the homeless population.
HB1195 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds to the Department of Health and Department of Human Services, including the Office of Youth Services, to provide homeless outreach services and rental subsidies to reduce and prevent homelessness.
HB530 HD2 SD2 updates the Downpayment Loan Program under the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation.
HB615 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds for the Healthy Aging Partnership Program to further the program’s important role in improving the health and well-being of Hawai‘i’s kupuna.
HB607 HD1 SD2 requires the Executive Office on Aging to establish the Kupuna Caregivers Program to assist community members in obtaining care for elders while remaining in the workforce. Clarifies the kupuna service and support options provided by area agencies on aging within the program. Makes establishment of the kupuna care program mandatory rather than discretionary.
HB674 HD2 SD2 requires all child care providers subject to regulation by the Department of Human Services to obtain and maintain liability insurance as a condition of licensure, temporary permission, or registration and disclose insurance-related information to certain parents or guardians. Requires the Department of Human Services to submit a report to the legislature prior to the 2018 regular session.
HB4 HD1 SD1 requires certain employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees to be used to care for themselves or a family member who is ill or needs medical care.
HB672 HD2 SD2 formally establishes the Hawai‘i Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn Program within the Department of Education. Establishes a dedicated special fund and positions within the Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services to support the program.
HB552 HD1 SD2 ensures that benefits of the Affordable Care Act are preserved under state law in the case of repeal of the ACA by Congress. Preserves the individual mandate, minimum essential benefit requirements, extended dependent coverage, and prohibitions on preexisting condition exclusions and gender discrimination in premiums and costs. Establishes a trust fund and procedures to reimburse insurers for unrecouped costs of providing minimum essential insurance benefits.
HB1272 HD1 SD1 specifies that coverage for telehealth under the State’s medicaid managed care and fee-for-service programs includes psychiatric services delivered via telehealth through a behavioral health care manager who is present in a primary health care provider’s office.
HB1475 HD2 SD2 Permits farmers’ markets and food hubs on lands in an agricultural district. Requires that value-added products displayed and sold by agricultural-based commercial operations in agricultural districts contain an unspecified per cent of Hawai‘i-grown content.
Aloha Kaiāulu Ho‘oulu – Preparedness
HB1401 HD1 SD1 enacts voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections commencing in 2020, and allows any election to be conducted by mail prior to the 2020 primary election, in whole or in part, as determined by the chief election officer or county clerk, as appropriate.
HB206 HD2 SD2 establishes a prepaid wireless E911 surcharge of 1.5 per cent of prepaid wireless service purchased at the point of sale. Allows sellers to deduct and retain 3 per cent of the surcharges collected to offset administrative expenses, but requires sellers to remit the balance of surcharges collected to the Enhanced 911 fund on a specified periodic basis.
HB1327 HD1 SD1 Appropriates funds for the Manufacturing Development Program.
Aloha Honua – Climate Change and Energy
HB1339 HD1 SD2 restructures the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council as the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Authority to coordinate implementation of the Hawai‘i Interagency Biosecurity Plan and related duties.
HB904 HD1 SD1 establishes the invasive species rapid response special fund within DLNR. Establishes procedures for emergency declarations and expenditures.
Pono Kaulike – Transforming Justice
HB930 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.