Maui’s Two New House Members Introduce First Slate of Bills
Maui’s two new freshmen lawmakers, Representatives Tina Wildberger and Troy N. Hashimoto, introduced their first slate of bills to address issues of top concern to Maui residents. The measures include addressing the minimum wage, sea level rise, invasive species, school capacity and repair, and illegal vacation rentals.
Rep. Wildberger’s minimum wage bill seeks an increase to $15 an hour by 2022 with a robust tip credit for high-tip-earning staff. There’s also legislation for a statewide polystyrene ban, based on the recently implemented Maui County ordinance; and a bill aimed at legalizing adult use of cannabis, with distribution of revenue going towards counties and small local farms.
Representative Hashimoto’s bills include one to fund the renovation of existing buildings at Iao Intermediate School in an effort to increase the schools capacity. He also introduced a bill to address short-term vacation rentals, in an effort to give regulation power to the counties.
Rep. Wildberger’s bill highlights:
- HB1197: Increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 with a robust tip credit for high-tip-earning staff, and indexes future annual increases to Hawaiʻi’s median hourly wage;
- HB635: Allows residents to testify on bills remotely from neighbor islands;
- HB 850: Statewide polystyrene ban, based on the Maui County ordinance;
- HB1577: Adds more detector dogs to freight transfer points to address invasive species and illegal fireworks;
- HB1578: Sea Level Rise: Requires mandatory disclosure upon sale, and adopts Maui County’s setback rules statewide;
- HB1581: Legalizes adult use of cannabis and distributes revenue to the counties and small local farms.
Rep. Hashimoto’s bill highlights:
- HB1232: Provides capital improvement funding to expand the capacity of Iao Intermediate School, plan and design new lockers at H.P. Baldwin High School, and renovate Wailuku Public Library;
- HB400: Allows counties to regulate the hosting platforms used for short-term vacation rentals;
- HB398: Requests the University of Hawaiʻi System to create additional distance-learning classes in teaching for students who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in education;
- HB1456: Funds positions for the Maui Food Innovation Center at the University Hawaiʻi Maui College. Hashimoto notes that in previous sessions the Legislature funded renovations UHMC’s multipurpose room to create a state-of-the-art facility to foster agribusiness and food entrepreneurs, and while renovations will be completed in 2019, the program currently does not have full-time staff members to run the center.