Maui News

Senate passes more than 120 bills during third reading floor session

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Senate Chamber. File photo PC: Hawaiʻi State Senate.

The Hawaiʻi State Senate voted on more than 120 bills Tuesday, during a third reading floor session.

Priority measures that advanced include legislation aimed at addressing various issues relating to the minimum wage, an extension of the earned income tax credit, Mauna Kea, and more.

The minimum wage bill would incrementally increase the wage starting with a step increase to $12 per hour on October 1 of this year, and culminate with an increase to $18 per hour in January of 2026.

Highlights include the following:

HB 510 HD2 SD2: Makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and extends the availability of the tax credit for an additional 6 years. 

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HB2024 HD1 SD2: Establishes the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority as a joint authority with the University of Hawaii. Defines the astronomy research lands under the jurisdiction of the University of Hawaii. Defines the Mauna Kea conservation lands under the jurisdiction of the Authority. Requires the Authority and the University of Hawaii to manage land uses; human activities, other uses, and access; stewardship; education; research; disposition; and overall operations on its respective lands. 

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HB 2510 HD2 SD1: Increases the State’s minimum wage incrementally to $12.00 per hour beginning October 1, 2022; $15.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2024; and $18.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2026. Reduces the tip credit to 35 cents per hour beginning October 1, 2022, and zero cents per hour beginning January 1, 2026. 

HB1570 HD1 SD2: Bans the sale of flavored tobacco products and mislabeled e‑liquid products. Establishes fines. 

HB2233 HD1 SD2: Authorizes the Department of Human Services to provide additional housing assistance subsidies of up to $500 per month to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF) program participants who are participating in the First-To-Work program. 

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The Senate also voted on HB 1600 HD1 SD2, which appropriates funds for the operating costs of the executive branch for the supplemental budget period beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2023. Senate Draft 2 of the measure would allocate $8,772,816,000 for FY22 and $9,299,185,000 in FY23. 

“I applaud all of our members, particularly our committee chairs and support staff, who have worked diligently over the past few weeks to ensure that we were able to properly vet and consider these House Bills,” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (District 8 – Kauaʻi and Niʻihau). “As we begin to prepare for conference committees, the Senate looks forward to working with our House colleagues to find common ground and produce legislation that will benefit the people of Hawaiʻi.” 

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