Maui News

Senate Bills Address Sustainability, Climate Change

Listen to this Article
5 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The Hawaiʻi State Senate on Tuesday voted to pass 371 bills on third reading, bringing to 420 the total number of measures that are now being transmitted to the House for consideration.

Senate Majority Leader, Sen. J. Kalani English. Photo credit: Michi Moore.

Senate Majority Leader Senator J. Kalani English of Maui said the actions taken by the Senate demonstrate its commitment to support Hawai‘i as a global leader in addressing sustainability and climate change challenges.

The following are a few of the measures to pass on third reading:


SB2793 SD2 Requires the Department of Human Services to use an integrated and multigenerational approach in delivering human services to reduce the incidence of intergenerational poverty and dependence on public benefits.

SB2401 SD2 Establishes and appropriates funds for a three-year housing homeless children pilot program to assist families with minors, or those families with minors at imminent risk of homelessness due to domestic violence, to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Appropriates funds to the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority for public housing improvements and renovations statewide. Appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services and Department of Health to support the State’s most effective programs to end homelessness: housing first, rapid rehousing, outreach services programs to homeless persons, including outreach services to run away and homeless youth and civil legal services, Oahu’s family assessment center, and the LEAD program.

SB2027 SD2 Appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services for the coordinated statewide homeless initiative, subject to certain conditions.

SB2988 SD2 Requires the Executive Office on Aging to include in its annual report to the legislature a section that details outcomes of the Kupuna Caregivers Program. Requires the Executive Office on Aging to offer a plan to maximize the number of participants in the program and offer certain core services and to submit a copy of the plan to the legislature. Includes activities of daily living and attendant care as services covered by the program. Appropriates $3,400,000 for implementation of the program.

SB2497 SD1 Requires the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority to establish a program to offer insurance policies to landlords who rent to tenants using the section 8 housing choice voucher program. Requires the Authority to report to the Legislature.

SB2501 SD2 Requires the Department of Human Services to establish safe zones where homeless persons may reside. Repeals on 6/30/2028.


SB2928 SD2 Establishes and appropriates funds for a farm to school grant pilot program within the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture to provide grants to schools, early care and education centers, nonprofits, soil and water conservation districts, and food producers participating in the Hawai‘i farm to school program. Makes appropriations to continue the Hawai‘i farm to school program and coordinator position and to assist farmers and ranchers achieve Good Agricultural Practices Certification from the United States Department of Agriculture. Repeals on 6/30/2021.

SB3030 SD1 Establishes a farmer apprentice mentoring program to teach and train farmers to utilize a whole farm system approach to agriculture.

SB2572 SD2 Appropriates funds for the Department of Agriculture to conduct import substitution projects to encourage Hawai‘i farmers and growers to identify and grow food and nonfood alternative products to phase out imports of high-risk pathway food and commodities by 2027. Appropriates funds for outreach materials to encourage Hawaii residents to buy local products and foster a sense of pride and self-responsibility in protecting Hawaii’s agriculture, environment, and lifestyle.

SB2845 SD2 Requires the Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the Office of Planning and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, to prepare and periodically update a functional plan for seafood sustainability that expands the State’s priority on food by including wild seafood as a viable food source.

SB2085 SD2 Establishes a grant program to be administered by the agribusiness development corporation to provide grants for agriculture-related improvements to existing and emerging farms and agribusiness operations.

SB2839 SD2 Establishes a new agricultural enterprise program within the Department of Agriculture to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish, and remove infrastructure on any lands under the jurisdiction of the department, to support and promote agriculture. Establishes the agricultural enterprise special fund.

SB2084 SD1 Establishes the agricultural land acquisition fund to provide funding for the acquisition, administration, maintenance, and management of agricultural lands and irrigation systems to improve food security.

SB2387 SD2 Requires the Department of Education to establish a farm to school program. Requires the farm to school coordinator in the Department of Agriculture to work in collaboration with the Department of Education on any farm to school program.


SB2247 SD1 Authorizes pharmacists to prescribe, dispense, and provide related education on opioid antagonists to individuals at risk of opioid overdose and to family members and caregivers of individuals at risk of opioid overdose without the need for a written, approved collaborative agreement; subject to certain conditions.

SB2211 SD2 Further expands the concussion educational program established under Act 197, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2012, and expanded under Act 262, Session Laws of Hawai‘i 2016, to include athletic events beginning from grade 3. Appropriates funds for the continuation of the concussion educational program.

SB2646 SD1 Requires prescribers of certain controlled substances to consult the electronic prescription accountability system before issuing a prescription for the controlled substance. Provides exemptions for certain circumstances. Provides that a violation by a prescriber shall not be subject to criminal penalty provisions but that a violation may be grounds for professional discipline pursuant to section 453-8 or 457-12, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes. Repeals on 6/30/2023.

SB2656 SD2 Allows the synchronization of plan participants’ medications. Requires plans, policies, contracts, or agreements that are offered by health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organization and provide prescription drug benefits, to apply prorated daily cost-sharing rates for prescriptions dispensed by network pharmacies for less than a thirty-day supply. Repeals 7/1/2023.

SB2891 SD1 Requires the Department of Health to conduct a telehealth pilot project.

SB2374 SD1 Establishes and appropriates funds for a three-year community paramedic services pilot program. Establishes reporting requirements. Repeals December 31, 2021.

SB3107 SD1 Appropriates funds for programs and other efforts to help persons suffering from multiple chronic conditions, including coordinated treatment, centralized referral, case managers, and peer mentors.

SB2108 SD1 Requires the Department of Human Services to provide health care premium assistance for individuals at various income ranges up to 300% of the federal poverty level.

SB2320 SD2 Establishes an undergraduate health sciences academy to be administered by the University of Hawai‘i-West Oahu to increase recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and first generation college students. Requires the University of Hawai‘i-West Oahu to submit a report to the legislature regarding educational outcomes.

SB2049 SD1 Appropriates funds to the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center to determine the reasons that Hawai‘i has the highest incidence of liver and bile duct cancer in the country.


SB2905 SD2 Establishes an income tax credit for employers who create on-site early childhood facilities. Establishes and appropriates funds for 1 on-site early childhood facility coordinator position. Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2018.

SB2384 Requires the department of education to develop a comprehensive plan to integrate design thinking and coding in middle, intermediate, and high school curriculums. Requires the department of education to submit the plan to the legislature prior to the regular session of 2019.

SB3070 SD2 Establishes a Hawai‘i teacher stipend program to be administered by the Department of Education to address the shortage of teachers in the Hawai‘i public school system. Appropriates funds for the program for fiscal year 2018-2019.

SB2070 SD2 Requires the Department of Education to convene an advisory committee to make recommendations on best practices for purposes of developing and implementing a plan to teach digital citizenship and media literacy in grades kindergarten through twelve in public schools, including charter schools and Hawaiian language immersion schools. Requires the Department of Education to develop the plan. Requires an annual report to Legislature.

SB2925 SD1 Clarifies the licensing exemptions for certain individuals under certain conditions who provide behavior analysis services. Requires the Department of Education to create and implement a plan to provide Medicaid billable applied behavior analysis services to all students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder within the Department. Establishes reporting requirements.

SB2922 SD1 Proposes amendments to the Constitution of the State of Hawai‘i to advance the State’s goal of providing a quality education for the children of Hawai‘i by authorizing the legislature to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on visitor accommodations and on residential investment property.


SB2343 SD2 Amends the offense of abuse of family or household members to provide for felony, misdemeanor, and petty misdemeanor penalties. Expands the family court’s jurisdiction over cases involving harassment of a family or household member. Allows the granting of a deferred acceptance of guilty or no contest plea in cases involving misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member in the second degree. Requires that no-contact and stay-away orders issued in criminal cases involving abuse of a family or household member or non-physical forms of harassment of a family or household member be converted by the court to a new protective order that shall remain in effect for a fixed reasonable period as the court deems appropriate, unless the victim or witness requests otherwise; provided that a hearing on the issue is held and certain requirements are met.

SB2351 SD1 Prohibits prospective employers from requesting or considering a job applicant’s wage or salary history as part of an employment application process or compensation offer. Prohibits enforced wage secrecy and retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or coworkers’ wages.

SB2346 SD2 Establishes the address confidentiality program within the Department of the Attorney General to help survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking to relocate and keep the location of their physical address confidential.


SB2567 SD2 Requires cesspools located in priority upgrade areas and identified as priority level 1, 2, or 3 to be upgraded within an unspecified number of days after the sale of the property on which the cesspool is located. Allows the Director of Health to issue exemptions. Allows cesspools located in additional priority upgrade areas and identified as priority level 4 to be required to be upgraded within an unspecified number of days after the sale of the property on which the cesspool is located, upon determination of the Director of Health. Designates the presence of a cesspool as a material fact for the purposes of a residential real property seller’s mandatory disclosure. Requires realtors to advise their clients with respect to the requirements of this Act.

SB2717 SD2 Establishes a grant program and special fund to assist lessees on Hawaiian home lands with cesspool upgrade, conversion, or connection costs. Establishes that a recipient of a cesspool upgrade grant shall not be eligible for the cesspool upgrade, conversion, or connection income tax credit. Appropriates moneys for the grant program.

SB2930 SD2 Requires, on or before 10/13/2018, that the department of health adopt rules for underground storage tanks and tank systems to conform with certain federal regulations and that include additional requirements for field-constructed underground storage tanks and tank systems


SB2752 SD2 Creates a revolving line of credit sub-fund under the umbrella of the Hawai‘i green infrastructure special fund for any state agency or department to finance cost-effective energy-efficiency measures.

SB3001 SD2 Establishes an Alternative Energy Research and Development Pilot Program and appropriates moneys for grants under the pilot program. Repeals the pilot program on 6/30/2020.

SB2100 SD2 Replaces the current renewable energy technology systems tax credit with tax credits for solar or wind energy systems and energy storage systems. Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2018.


SB2523 SD1 Requires the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to develop regional economic plans for each county to provide jobs in urban and rural areas of each county based on the development or community boundaries of each respective county. Requires the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to work with the Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i to develop K-12 pathways for each school that emphasize skills necessary to meet the State’s specific industry needs.

SB2242 SD2 Appropriates moneys for the establishment of a workforce development microgrant program to award grants to public high school students for costs associated with technical or workforce training related to certain industries.

SB3000 SD2 Establishes the research and development program in the Hawai‘i technology development corporation to help Hawai‘i-based small businesses optimize research and development performed in Hawai‘i. Establishes the research and development special fund. Appropriates funds for the purposes of the research and development program.

SB2704 SD2 Establishes a process to upgrade and support next generation wireless broadband infrastructure throughout the State. Establishes a permitting, application, review, and approval process for wireless service providers to install wireless facilities on state or county owned utility poles, or install associated utility poles, in the right of way.

SB2363 SD2 Requires the Department of Human Resources Development to establish a working group to establish a pilot program where candidates for promotion to supervisor or professional positions can shadow supervisors and professionals and receive supervisory and leadership training.


SB2910 SD2 Establishes a homeland security and resiliency council to assess the resilience of the State’s electric grid and other critical infrastructure to natural disasters and other emergencies and make recommendations. Requires the council to report to legislature.

SB2751 SD2 Renames the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) as the Office of Aerospace and Aviation Industries. Amends section 201-76, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, to attach the Office of Aerospace and Aviation Industries to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Repeals the office of aerospace development and transfers all rights, powers, functions, and duties to the Office of Aerospace and Aviation Industries.

SB2996 SD2 Authorizes the establishment of the Hawai‘i Airports Corporation within the Department of Transportation for administrative purposes. Sets out appointment of members to the board of directors and powers and duties of the Hawai‘i Airports Corporation. Transfers the aeronautics functions of Department of Transportation to the Hawai‘i Airports Corporation by the established transfer completion date agreed upon by the Hawai‘i Airports Corporation, the Director of Transportation, and the Governor, which shall be no later than 7/1/2021

SB2397 SD1 Establishes a temporary telecommuting task force to develop incentives and recommendations to encourage and expand telecommuting opportunities in the public and private sectors.


SB2290 SD2 Prohibits state law enforcement agencies from complying with federal immigration detainers or honoring requests for non-public information unless specifically required to do so by a warrant signed by a judge or federal, state, or local law.

SB3023 SD2 Includes persons with disabilities under the minimum wage requirements. Requires the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to study the impacts of raising the minimum wage and recommend to the Legislature how the minimum wage should be adjusted in the future.

SB3008 SD2 Transitions from lump sum deferred deposit transactions to installment-based small dollar loan transactions. Specifies various consumer protection requirements for small dollar loans. Beginning 1/1/2019, requires licensure for small dollar lenders that offer small dollar loans to consumers. Specifies licensing requirements for small dollar lenders.

SB2990 SD2 Requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to adopt rules by 1/1/2020 that establish paid family leave for all workers. Authorizes the Department to adopt interim rules. Establishes the Paid Family Leave Implementation Board to assist the Department and report to the Legislature; repeals the Board on January 1, 2024.


SB2786 SD2 Provides that certain areas within Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority housing projects are closed to the public and amends criminal trespass in the second degree to permit the prosecution of an unauthorized entry or a violation of a written prohibition to enter into the subject housing projects. Clarifies requirements for signage notifying trespassers of illegal entry.

SB2989 SD2 Expands eligibility and credit amount of the low-income household renters’ income tax credit and adjusts the credit for inflation. Appropriates funds for the continued administration of the family assessment center for homeless families and for a housing homeless children rental assistance pilot program. Exempts adoption of interim rules from chapter 91, HRS, and procurement of services by federally-certified financial counselors from chapters 103D and 103F, HRS.

SB2594 SD2 Requires that construction and renovation of publicly funded residential housing developed or financed under the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation or Hawaii Public Housing Authority incorporate housing visitability standards beginning on 1/1/2019.

SB2472 SD2 Establishes the home ownership housing revolving fund to provide loans and grants for the development of affordable for-sale housing projects.

SB3034 SD2 Includes approval of all state agencies’ redevelopment plans for parcels along the rail transit corridor among the office of planning’s duties as lead agency to coordinate and advance smart growth and transit-oriented development planning within the State. Requires affordable housing to be included as part of every development or redevelopment plan for state transit-oriented development along the rail transit corridor unless the office of planning determines that housing is not feasible or desirable on a particular property.

SB2943 SD2 Authorizes the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), at the request of the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority (HCDA), to establish and operate transit-oriented development infrastructure improvement zone subaccounts within the dwelling unit revolving fund for the benefit of infrastructure improvement projects within a transit-oriented development infrastructure improvement zone. Requires HCDA to develop a transit-oriented development infrastructure improvement zone program to foster infrastructure development by strategically investing in public facilities. Requires the executive director of HHFDC in collaboration with the executive director of HCDA and Hawai‘i interagency council for transit-oriented development to conduct a study examining the current infrastructure of a transit-oriented development infrastructure improvement zone and the requirements necessary to upgrade the infrastructure to facilitate future transit-oriented development.

SB2424 SD2 Authorizes the construction and use of micro housing units on Hawaiian home lands approved by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and leased to native Hawaiian beneficiaries who meet the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement, notwithstanding county zoning laws. Authorizes the use of the Hawaiian home loan fund and Hawaiian home general loan fund for assistance in purchasing or renting micro housing units for use on approved Hawaiian home lands and leased to beneficiaries who meet the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement. Makes appropriations to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for construction of micro housing units, subject to certain conditions, and to build general organizational capacity of native Hawaiian-controlled nonprofit housing developers.


SB2339 SD1 Authorizes pharmacies to accept for disposal the return of any unused, remaining, or expired prescription drugs, excluding opioids, that the pharmacy previously dispensed, via collection receptacles or mail-back programs.

SB2955 SD2 Requires rental motor vehicle lessors with more than two hundred light duty passenger vehicles, to expedite the incorporation of at least fifty per cent of zero-emission vehicles into the lessor’s fleet by 2030. Requires all rental motor vehicle lessors to report a list of the make, model, license plate number, and fuel type of each rental motor vehicle in the lessor’s fleet to the Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

SB2110 SD2 Requires retail automotive parts stores with an existing oil collection and storage unit to accept household generated used oil from motor vehicles for recycling or disposal. Defines retail automotive parts store. Allows a retail automotive parts store to collect a fee for the actual cost of disposal or recycling.

SB2498 SD2 Prohibits the sale of polystyrene foam containers and serving of prepared foods using polystyrene foam containers statewide. Authorizes the department of health to include within its administrative rules a requirement for prepared food vendors to educate their customers about proper disposal of non-reusable food containers and litter reduction.

SB3099 SD2 Requires the Department of Health to set benchmarks to reach an 85% redemption rate by 2023. Establishes and appropriates funds for a plastics recycling grant program to identify Hawai‘i-based alternatives for the sustainable recycling and reuse of plastic commodities. Automatically increases the deposit beverage container fee from 5 cents to 10 cents if the redemption rate remains below 80% for 2 consecutive calendar years. Requires the Department of Health to annually report to the Legislature on redemption rates, progress, and plans regarding the deposit beverage container program.

SB2337 SD1 Requires that all state and county agency contractors that dispose of liquid or solid waste to provide a receipt that the waste was received and disposed of at a licensed facility before full payment is made for those contractual services. Allows for partial payment to be made without a receipt and prior to any dumping of waste. Prohibits alteration or falsification of receipts.

SB2479 SD2 Requires the counties to take into custody any abandoned vehicle on a public road within ten business days. Specifies that the requirement to provide written notice to the registered owner of an abandoned vehicle under section 290-2, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, applies only to abandoned vehicles that have been reported stolen. Amends the conditions that constitute a derelict vehicle. Repeals the requirement that abandoned vehicles be disposed of by public auction.


SB2965 SD1 Requires the Hawai‘i climate change mitigation and adaptation commission to prioritize, identify, utilize, and maintain nature-based solutions in its climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts at the regional, state, and local levels. Defines “nature-based solutions”. Requires the commission to develop a science-based carbon budget for the State.

SB2334 SD2 Requires the State and counties to incorporate predictions of sea level rise and other climate change hazards and mitigation opportunities into applicable plans, strategies, and mapping.


SB2571 SD2 Bans the sale, offer of sale, or distribution in the State of any SPF sunscreen protection personal care product that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate, or both, without a prescription issued by a licensed healthcare provider.

SB2079 SD2 Establishes penalties and fines for any person who knowingly captures, takes, possesses, abuses, or entangles any shark, whether alive or dead, or kills any shark, within state marine waters and makes it a misdemeanor. Expands the existing prohibition on knowingly capturing or killing a manta ray to all rays. Expands the prohibition regarding rays to cover knowingly capturing, taking, possessing, abusing, or entangling a ray, whether alive or dead, or killing a ray, within state marine waters. Provides certain exemptions.


SB2559 SD2 Clarifies that state, county, and authorized agents’ authority to enter private property to control and eradicate invasive species also applies when there is a reasonable suspicion that priority invasive species, as determined by the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, are present on that property. Requires the Invasive Species Council to maintain a list of priority invasive species and diseases that pose a high risk to public health and safety, the environment, or agriculture.

SB2124 SD1 Appropriates moneys to the Hawai‘i ant lab for personnel and equipment to support mitigation of the little fire ant.

SB3058 SD2 Establishes procedures for designating public land redevelopment districts, planning committees, district redevelopment plans, and designated redevelopment district revolving funds. Establishes powers and duties of planning committees.

SB2078 SD1 Appropriates funds for the department of land and natural resources to conduct, in collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i college of tropical agriculture and human resources, a two-year breeding ecology study and two-year foraging ecology study on the pueo on Oahu.

SB2399 SD2 Restructures the Hawai‘i invasive species council as the Hawai‘i invasive species authority, to be administratively attached to the Department of Agriculture, to coordinate implementation of the Hawai‘i interagency biosecurity plan and to improve coordination of the State’s invasive species prevention, early detection, rapid response, control, enforcement, and outreach programs. Appropriates funds for the authority and relevant interagency invasive species projects.

SB2331 SD2 Makes an appropriation to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to improve Na Ala Hele, the Hawai‘i statewide trail and access program, by improving access to and maintaining state controlled recreational trails statewide and promoting hiker safety and hiker etiquette education and outreach.


SB2603 SD2 Requires the chair of the appropriate subject matter committee to hold either a public hearing or informational briefing for any report of a study or an audit enacted with a legislative appropriation or adopted by concurrent resolution and conducted by an executive department or agency, including the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation; the Legislative Reference Bureau; the Auditor; the Judiciary; or the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, within one year of receipt of the report or study, except if an extension is granted by the senate president or speaker of the house of representatives or if the requirement is waived by the senate president or speaker of the house of representatives.

SB2087 SD2 Amends the Good Samaritan Law to provide vicarious liability exemptions for owners and operators of any premises, property, or facility where rescue tubes are located for the storage, maintenance, or use of the rescue tubes. Provides liability exemptions for rescuers who attempt to rescue a person with a rescue tube.

SB2791 SD2 Establishes the Kawailoa Youth and Family Wellness Center within the Department of Human Services under the supervision of the Office of Youth Services and the Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facilities. Changes the approach of juvenile justice to a more therapeutic model.

SB2305 SD1 Requires the establishment of a pilot visitation center or centers for children of incarcerated parents in correctional facilities in the State and a plan for visitation centers at all state operated correctional facilities

SB1304 SD3 Appropriates funds for fiscal year 2018-2019 to the University of Hawai‘i to translate the Hawai‘i State Constitution into the Hawaiian language. Requires courts, to the extent reasonably possible, to provide interpreter services if any party to a proceeding requests that the proceeding be conducted in the Hawaiian language.


SB2116 SD1 Establishes the biosecurity emergency response special fund within the Department of Agriculture. Establishes procedures for emergency declarations and expenditures. Appropriates moneys into the special fund. Appropriates moneys to the Department of Agriculture.

SB3083 SD1 Clarifies that certain types of remuneration received by an owner of private property who in good faith provides emergency access to land, shelter, or subsistence during a disaster shall not disqualify the owner from receiving the exemption provided under section 663-10.7, HRS, from civil liability for any resulting injury or damage. Requires the owners of buildings open to the public to provide shelter to visiting members of the public in cases of emergency or disaster. Requires the owners of buildings open to the public to inform the appropriate county emergency management agency of the designated shelter area. Provides immunity from civil liability for owners of buildings open to the public who provide shelter to visiting members of the public in cases of emergency or disaster.

SB2902 SD2 Appropriates funds for grants to participants in software application challenges so that the proofs of concept created during the challenges can be developed into prototypes suitable for local and state government. Requires matching funds.

SB3086 SD1 Requires the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to partner with the United States Department of Energy to establish an Office of Science National Laboratory in the Kalaeloa Community Development District.

A complete list of bills passed by the Senate to date is available at


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments