State Hospital Administrators Subpoenaed to Testify Before Senate Investigative Committee

The Hawaii State Senate continues its investigation into allegations of misconduct at the State Hospital on Wednesday, July 16.

The Special Investigative Committee on the State Hospital was formed during the 2014 legislative session to conduct an investigation of the workplace safety of psychiatric workers and allegations of administrative improprieties and failure to conform to established employment policies and practices at the Hawaii State Hospital. The hearings began in March to receive testimony from subpoenaed individuals and has been ongoing as senators take a wide-ranging and in-depth look at the State Hospital.

“There are a growing number of concerns at the State Hospital,” said Senator Clayton Hee, co-chair of the Senate Special Investigative Committee on the State Hospital. “As we learn more about the inner workings at the State Hospital, it’s become clear that there are many issues that need addressing. We need to hold workers accountable for improper actions, but also equip them with the tools necessary to do their jobs.”

“The first step in solving a problem is to assess the current situation” said Senator Josh Green, co-chair of the Senate Special Investigative Committee on the State Hospital. “The hearings we hold attempts to gives us insight into what exactly is happening at the State Hospital so that we can begin to address and solve those issues with open and transparent governance.”

The next hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 16 at 11:00am in Room 16 of the Hawaii State Capitol to receive testimony from the following individuals for which subpoenas were issued:

  • Mark Fridovich, Adult Mental Health Division Administrator
  • William Elliott, Acting Hawaii State Hospital Administrator
  • Linda Rosen, Director of the Department of Health

Session Laws of 2014

The Session Laws of 2014 are complete with 235 acts this year. Of the 245 measures that were passed by the legislature this session, the governor signed 229 of them into law, vetoed seven measures and let the remaining six bills become law automatically by taking no action on them.

Last year, 288 bills became law. Although there were 53 less laws passed this year than last, the measures that became law will have a lasting impact on Hawaii. These new laws will go a long way in supporting those most in need including kupuna, keiki and minimum-wage earners, protecting and conserving our environment for future generations, mitigating the ill effects of invasive species and climate change, and funding to maintain core services and projects.

Article III, Section 16 of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii states that all bills passed out of the legislature 10 days prior to adjournment sine die must be signed or vetoed by the governor within 10 days of passage or it automatically becomes law. For bills passed with less than 10 days until the end of session, which fell on May 1st this year, the governor is given 45 days to consider bills with either a signature or veto or it automatically becomes law. This day fell on July 8th this year.

To see the full set of the Session Laws of 2014, visit: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports/advreport.aspx?year=2014&report=deadline&rpt_type=gov_acts&measuretype=HB,SB&title=Acts

Senator English Participates in Transportation and Infrastructure Summit

Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs participated in the first Transportation and Infrastructure Summit hosted by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce today.

The summit brings together top transportation leaders in the state to address topics such as air and sea transportation, the physical state of infrastructure in Hawaii, and the Honolulu rail project.

Senator English was a part of a round table discussion on the challenges of planning, paying for and addressing the backlog of infrastructure projects.

The day-long summit was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. For more information about the summit, please visit: http://www.cochawaii.org/hits-event-hawaii-infrastructure-transportation-summit/

 

Waikoloa to receive $525,000 for design of a new public library

Sen. MalamSen.MalamaSolomon_2013Legislature_Final(Cropped)a Solomon is pleased to announce that funding identified by the Legislature for a new public library in Waikoloa has been released by the administration. The project includes $525,000 for design work for a new Waikoloa Public Library.

“Residents of Waikoloa worked very hard over the years to get this much-needed public library in the community,” said Solomon, who represents District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona. “The rural area of Waikoloa is a growing region and I’m pleased that the governor has recognized this and released the funding identified by the Legislature to support literacy and serve the needs of the community.”

“Investing money into our community’s infrastructure will also create more jobs and stimulate the economy,” she added. “This is great news for Hawaii Island and I look forward to the project moving forward.”

Sen. Solomon will keep the community informed of the start and timeline of work on this and other projects as they become known.

Community members are encouraged to contact her at 808-586-7335 or sensolomon@capitol.hawaii.gov should questions arise.

Kihei Library to Receive $400,000 for Air Conditioning

baker 2013Sen. Roz Baker, who represents District 6 – South and West Maui, is pleased to announce that funding identified by the Legislature for a new air conditioning system at Kihei Public Library has been released by the administration. The library will receive $400,000 for construction.

“Improving the conditions of community infrastructure which supports education and literacy is part of the legislature’s commitment to the people of Hawaii and my commitment to the people of Kihei,” said Baker. “Once construction on replacing the air conditioning is completed, families will have a better experience when they go to Kihei Public Library. In addition, modernizing our air conditioning systems brings us up-to-date with energy efficiency. We will see less energy used and more money saved. Air condition for Kihei Public Library and other construction projects identified by my colleagues and I will also help revitalize our economy by creating jobs that will get our people back to work.”

Baker will keep the community informed of the start and timeline of construction as they become known.

Community members are encouraged to contact her at 808-586-6070 or senbaker@capitol.hawaii.govshould questions arise.

Sen. Solomon on the Selection of Hawaii as the Next Host of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today selected Hawaii as the location to host the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Senator Malama Solomon (District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) this past session put forth a certificate supporting Hawaii’s bid to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress.

She issued the following remarks on the selection of Hawaii:

“We’ve been waiting with anticipation for the announcement of the next host of the 2016 World Conservation Congress and I am elated that Hawaii has been selected. The Congress, since its inception in 1948, has never come to the United States, and it’s with great pride and Aloha that our state welcome its delegates in 2016.

“Hawaii is the ideal location for the gathering of the minds from across the world to discuss global environment issues and priorities as they relate to conservation programs and activities, government and the economy.

“We have a legacy of conservation in Hawaii and have shown over the years our continued commitment to preserving our natural resources, through various key environmental initiatives and commitment to traditional Hawaiian natural resource management practices.

“Because of our unique and fragile ecosystem, Hawaii is vulnerable to the world’s most pressing environment issues, such as effects of climate change and invasive species. This event will put Hawaii center stage of the global conservation conversation and provide a forum for our business, government, and social leaders to share and gather ideas with others from around the world to help improve how we manage our natural resources.”

State Senator Jill Tokuda Receives National Recognition for Her Work with Charter Schools

During National Charter School Week, Sen. Jill Tokuda received a 2014 “Champions for Charters” award at the U.S. Capitol from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS). The award honors seven federal, state and local elected officials who have worked to advance the growth and success of public charter schools.

JT and Sen Hirono (Copy)
State Senator Jill Tokuda displays her award in a photo with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono.
Photo Credit: State Senator Jill Tokuda


State Senator Jill Tokuda with U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at the U.S. Capitol
Photo Credit: State Senator Jill Tokuda

In 2011, Senator Tokuda chaired a task force on charter school governance and accountability that made recommendations for significantly improving Hawaii’s charter school law and led the passage of a bill that contained these recommendations. These changes increased Hawaii’s charter school law ranking by NAPCS from 35th in the nation in 2012 to 14th in 2013. This year, Sen. Tokuda sponsored legislation to provide facilities support to public charter schools and continued to work to make improvements to the charter school law for better clarity and consistency.

“This national recognition is as well-deserved as it is impressive,” said Tom Hutton, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission. “Senator Tokuda’s strong support for Hawaii’s public charter schools would be noteworthy on its own, but her sustained engagement in the laborious and often thankless work of strengthening charter school accountability truly has showcased her leadership.”

“Senator Tokuda is truly committed to Hawaii’s public education system, both charter schools and DOE schools,” added Lynn Finnegan, Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network. “As Senate Education Chair, Senator Tokuda has invested a lot of time and effort to learn about the balance between autonomy and accountability that the charters school sector needs to survive and thrive. The leadership she has shown to help craft and pass charter school legislation is unprecedented in Hawaii for charter school issues. We are very grateful for her hard work.”

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Its mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector.

About National Charter School Week
National Charter School Week is an annual event that honors the great work accomplished by public charter schools across the country and the increasing momentum that they have shared over the past year. It gives the charter school community the opportunity to highlight and share successes, lessons learned, and achievements on behalf of the nearly 6,500 schools and more than 2.5 million students served.

# # #

Maui County to Receive Over $500 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funding

The Hawaii State Senate approved on final reading HB1700 CD1, the state supplemental budget bill, which includes over $500 million in capital improvement projects (CIP) for Maui County, which includes the islands of L?na‘i and Moloka‘i. Senators Roz Baker, J. Kalani English and Gilbert Keith-Agaran worked throughout the legislative session to secure this funding in the budget bill.


Maui senators J. Kalani English, Gilbert Keith-Agaran and Rosalyn Baker chat on the floor of the Senate chambers during the legislative session

“The projects funded in the budget definitely improve the quality of life for our residents,” said Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee chair, Senator Rosalyn Baker, who represents District 6 – South and West Maui. “The funding we secured is for upgrades to our hospitals, schools, roads, parks, harbors and airports – all important for our growing community.”

“I am committed to ensuring that our bridges, highways, harbors and airports on Maui, Moloka‘i and L?na‘i are safe and worked diligently to secure their funding,” said Senator J. Kalani English, Transportation and International Affairs Committee chair, who represents District 7 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, L?na‘i, Kaho‘olawe. “In the aftermath of the recent airplane tragedies on Moloka‘i and L?na‘i, it is critical that the state continues such funding.”

“Capital improvement projects and grants to Maui’s non-profits support our communities by creating valuable facilities and providing important employment opportunities” said Tourism Committee vice-chair, Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, who represents District 5 – Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului. “These projects are investments in our island’s future.”

Highlights of CIP funding to Maui County include:

Maui

  • $6,000,000           UPCOUNTRY MAUI WATERSHED PROJECT, NEW PIPELINE SYSTEM
  • $6,000,000           UPCOUNTRY MAUI AGRICULTURAL PARK, LAND ACQUISITION, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
  • $625,000              MAUI ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTER, IMPROVEMENTS AND FACILITY/GROUNDS EXPANSION
  • $4,000,000           HALE MAHAOLU EWALU, INC, SENIOR AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING CAMPUS AT THE KULAMALU TOWN CENTER SUBDIVISION
  • $550,000              MAUI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD, INC.
  • $140,000              MAUI ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, INC., CONSTRUCTION FOR VARIOUS FACILITIES
  • $927,532              MAUI FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICE, INC.
  • $130,000,000      KIHEI HIGH SCHOOL, GROUND AND SITE IMPROVEMENTS
  • $18,000,000        KING KEKAULIKE HIGH SCHOOL, NEW AUDITORIUM
  • $750,000              MAUI HIGH SCHOOL, WEIGHT TRAINING AND WRESTLING ROOMS, RENOVATE AND EXPAND THE BAND/CHOIR BUILDING
  • $2,500,000           CENTRAL MAUI NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL, NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • $1,500,000           KALAMA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, OUTDOOR COVERED PLAY COURT
  • $700,000              HAIKU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 2 PORTABLECLASSROOMS
  • $50,000                MAUI HIGH SCHOOL BOOSTER CLUB
  • $125,000              HUI MALAMA LEARNING CENTER
  • $75,000                 LAHAINA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL, PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
  • $75,000                 NAHIENAENA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, CROSSWALK AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
  • $950,000              EASTER SEALS, CONSTRUCTION FOR PHASE 2 OF THE MAUI CAMPUS
  • $1,500,000           WAIOHULI HAWAIIAN HOMESTEADERS ASSOCIATION, INC., CONSTRUCTION FOR PHASE 2 OF THE WAIOHULI COMMUNITY CENTER AND PARK MASTER PLAN
  • $4,000,000           PULEHUNUI SITE IMPROVEMENT, PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR SITE IMPROVEMENTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE OF A MASTER?PLANNED MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT IN PULEHUNUI, MAUI.
  • $500,000              KA LIMA O MAUI, CONSTRUCTION FOR A NEW PROGRAM, ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT FACILITY
  • $34,600,000        MAUI MEMORIAL?HOSPITAL, NEW PARKING GARAGE
  • $2,225,000           J. WALTER CAMERON CENTER, FACILITY REPAIRS, RENOVATION AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS
  • $200,000              HANA HEALTH, PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TO REPLACE THREE LARGE CAPACITY CESSPOOLS
  • $150,000              HALE MAKUA HEALTH SERVICES, PLANS AND CONSTRUCTION FOR A NEW NURSE CALL SYSTEM
  • $850,000              MAUI MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL IMPROVEMENTS
  • $2,000,000           MAUI MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, FACILITY REPAIRS
  • $2,650,000           KULA HOSPITAL, FACILITY REPAIRS
  • $500,000              KULA HOSPITAL, CESSPOOL CLOSURES AND INSTALLATION
  • $2,000,000           MAUI FAMILY YMCA, NEW GYMNASIUM
  • $1,175,000           MAUI ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY INC, CONSTRUCTION FOR VARIOUS FACILITIES AT THE MEO INC. TRANSPORTATION CENTER SITE
  • $1,000,000           PULEHUNUI FEASIBILITY STUDY AND INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING
  • $2,500,000           WATER TRANSMISSION AND STORAGE FOR UPCOUNTRY MAUI
  • $9,700,000           CENTRAL MAUI REGIONAL PARK, ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL PARK
  • $5,000,000           MAUI OFFICE ANNEX BUILDING, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR A FACILITY TO SUPPORT DEPARTMENTAL OPERATIONS AND PROGRAMS IN CENTRAL MAUI
  • $800,000              KAANAPALI BEACH RESTORATION AND BERM ENHANCEMENT
  • $370,000              MAALAEA SMALL BOAT HARBOR, REPLACEMENT OF WOODEN PIERS
  • $360,000              AHIHI KINAU NATURAL AREA RESERVE KANAHENA PARKING IMPROVEMENT
  • $250,000              KULA FOREST RESERVE, RECONSTRUCTION/RESURFACING TO EXISTING ACCESS ROADS
  • $1,500,000           MAUI REGIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX, NEW COMPLEX
  • $20,000,000        LIPOA POINT, LAND ACQUISITION
  • $72,600,000        KIHEI?UPCOUNTRY HIGHWAY, LAND ACQUISITION FOR A NEW TWO?LANE HIGHWAY
  • $50,000,000        KAHULUI AIRPORT, LAND ACQUISITION
  • $10,000,000        KAHULUI AIRPORT, ACCESS ROAD
  • $10,000,000        PU’UNENE AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS, KAMEHAMEHA AVENUE TO KUIHELANI HIGHWAY
  • $6,350,000           HANA AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS, NEW AIRCRAFT RESCUE AND FIRE FIGHTING STATION
  • $6,000,000           KAHULUI HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS
  • $3,080,000           TRAFFIC OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING INTERSECTIONS AND HIGHWAY FACILITIES
  • $2,000,000           GUARDRAIL AND SHOULDER IMPROVEMENTS ON STATE HIGHWAYS
  • $500,000              PIILANI HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SIGNAL IMPROVEMENTS
  • $20,500,000        HANA HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS
  • $100,000              KAHULUI BASEYARD IMPROVEMENTS
  • $200,000              KIHEI BOAT RAMP, RE?GRADING, LAYING, PATCHING, REMOVAL, AND LINE?STRIPING
  • $8,500,000           HONOAPILANI HIGHWAY, WIDENING AND/OR REALIGNMENT FROM HONOKOWAI TO LAUNIUPOKO
  • $5,463,000           HONOAPIILANI HIGHWAY, HONOLUA BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $3,000,000           HONOAPIILANI HIGHWAY SHORELINE IMPROVEMENTS, EROSION MITIGATION AND ROADWAY WORK IN VICINITY OF OLOWALU
  • $2,250,000           HONOAPIILANI HIGHWAY, IMPROVEMENTS FROM UKUMEHAME TO OLOWALU
  • $2,500,000           HALEAKALA HIGHWAY INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT KULA HIGHWAY
  • $3,250,000           HALEAKALA HIGHWAY, INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS AT MAKAWAO AVENUE
  • $550,000              HALEAKALA HIGHWAY WIDENING AT MILE POST 0.8
  • $1,115,000           HANA HIGHWAY, MAKANALI STREAM BRIDGE REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $1,100,000           HANA HIGHWAY, KAILUA STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $519,000              HANA HIGHWAY, WIDENING, KAAHUMANU AVENUE TO HALEAKALA HIGHWAY
  • $1,105,000           HANA HIGHWAY, KOPILIULA STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $1,000,000           HANA HIGHWAY, MOKULEHUA STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $950,000              HANA HIGHWAY, ULAINO STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $910,000              HANA HIGHWAY, PUOHOKAMOA STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACEMENT
  • $1,545,000           HANA HIGHWAY/KAAHUMANU AVENUE BEAUTIFICATION, DAIRY ROAD TO NANILOA OVERPASS
  • $2,700,000           MAUI FOOD INNOVATION CENTER, PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR THE MAUI FOOD INNOVATION CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, MAUI COLLEGE
  • $1,800,000           HOAPILI HALE, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR EXTERIOR REMEDIAL IMPROVEMENTS
  • $600,000              HOAPILI HALE, EXHAUST MONITORING AND VENTILATION SYSTEMS UPGRADES

Total: $486,984,532
Moloka‘i:

  • $2,200,000           MOLOKAI IRRIGATION SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
  • $1,750,000           MOLOKAI HOMESTEAD FARMERS ALLIANCE, REPAIRS, IMPROVEMENTS AND INSTALLATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR THE LANIKEHA CENTER
  • $400,000              MOLOKAI ATHLETIC COMPLEX, PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF GYM, FOOTBALL FIELD, TENNIS COURTS AND BASEBALL FIELD
  • $1,000,000           GUARDRAIL AND SHOULDER IMPROVEMENTS ON STATE HIGHWAYS
  • $500,000              MOLOKAI OHANA HEALTH CENTER, RENOVATION AND RELOCATION
  • $521,000              KALAUPAPA SETTLEMENT IMPROVEMENTS, CLOSE LANDFILLS AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS
  • $599,000              KAMEHAMEHA HIGHWAY, MAKAKUPAIA STREAM BRIDGE, REHABILITATION AND/OR REPLACE
  • $2,250,000           MAUI COMMUNITY COLLEGE, MOLOKAI EDUCATION CENTER

Total: $9,220,000

Lanai:

  • $1,750,000           LANAI COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, NEW FACILITY

Kaho‘olawe:

  • $2,500,000           KAHOOLAWE ISLAND RESERVE, PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM AT BASECAMP

 

 

MAUI COUNTY GRAND TOTAL: $500,454,532

 ###

State Senate Adjourns Session Approving More than 240 Bills Including Key Measures that Improve the Lives of Hawaii’s People

Lawmakers remain vigilant throughout legislative session striking a balance on measures supporting keiki, kupuna, workers and environment



The Hawaii State Senate today adjourned the 2014 session passing more than 240 bills that align with its initial priorities to make Hawaii a better place for everyone now and in the future through initiatives supporting Hawaii’s keiki, kupuna, workers and the environment.

“The ability to compromise and work together is essential to making good laws that help Hawaii’s people today and in the future,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “It is thanks to the patience and passion of our members and advocates that we were able to complete another successful session.”

“With anything we do in life, it’s always about balance. That’s the same way we look at it here in our majority caucus,” said Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. “Every issue will have two opposing sides. Our job as lawmakers is to come out at the end of session with worthy legislation that improve the quality of life of our people. I think we did just that and I’m proud of my colleagues in the Senate Majority.

The Senate Majority, whose members are Democrats, this afternoon took action on its final bills of the session. Some of the major bills discussed and approved were several education measures that align with earlier action emphasizing the Senate’s commitment to Hawaii’s keiki, the future of Hawaii.

Lawmakers passed four bills relating to education, one prohibiting teachers from using seclusion and creating conditions and procedures for the use of restraint in schools in order to promote the safety and well-being of students (HB2257), and another raising the salary cap of the superintendent of education in order to attract and retain exemplary candidates (HB2257). The third bill will allow charter schools to charge fees on the use of facilities to help cover operating costs (HB1745).

Overall, many of the notable bills this session focused on prevention and maintaining core services and projects. Lawmakers funded initiatives that address imminent problems (as part of the joint majority package) such as the rise in kupuna population, spread of invasive species, and effects of climate control. Lawmakers also remained committed to providing continued support for the people most in need, including Hawaii’s keiki, k?puna and workers who earn the lowest wages.

The governor has 45 days from the time a bill was received to veto it, sign it into law, or allow it to pass into law without his signature.

# # #

Highlights of Bills Passed this Session

Minimum Wage Increase

SB2609: Increases minimum wage rate to $7.75 per hour beginning on 1/1/15, $8.50 per hour beginning on 1/1/16, $9.25 per hour beginning on 1/1/17, and $10.10 per hour beginning on 1/1/18. Increases the tip credit to 50 cents per hour beginning on 1/1/15, and 75 cents per hour beginning on 1/1/16; provided that beginning 1/1/15, the combined amount the employee receives in wages and tips is at least $7 more than the applicable minimum wage

TAT for Counties
HB1671: Increases the current cap on transient accommodations tax revenues to be distributed to the counties for two fiscal years. Establishes a working group to determine future county allocation ceiling amounts and the appropriate division of the provision of public services between the State and counties.

Turtle Bay Resort Conservation Easement
HB2434: Establishes a method to use transient accommodations tax revenues to pay the debt service on revenue bonds issued by the Hawaii tourism authority to acquire a conservation easement in Turtle Bay, Oahu.

Joint Majority Package
Supporting Hawaii’s Kupuna
HB1713 SD2 and SB2346 SD1 HD2 supports Hawaii’s kupuna through funding of aging, long-term care and investor education programs

Protecting the Environment
HB1714: Establishes an interagency sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation committee under the State Department of Land and Natural Resources.

HB1716: Appropriates $5 million to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for invasive species prevention, control, outreach, research, and planning, passed out of committee earlier this month.

Voter Registration
HB2590: Allows voter registration at absentee polling places beginning in 2016 and late voter registration, including on Election Day, beginning in 2018. Appropriates funds.

Other Notable Bills

Government Reform
Lobbyist Disclosure
SB2629: Requires lobbyists and specified individuals to report to the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, within 30 days of adjournment sine die of a special session of the Legislature, on contributions and expenditures made to lobby on legislative matters considered during that special session. (SD2629 HD1

SB2634: Requires individuals who spend more than $750 on lobbying during a statement period to itemize each expenditure in certain categories, as applicable.

Financial Disclosure
SB2682: Fifteen boards and commissions will be required to file public financial disclosure statements

Sunshine Exemption for Counties
HB2139: Authorizes a limited meeting where any number of county council members may attend a board’s or community group’s meeting to discuss council business, provided that certain requirements are met. Repeals 6/30/2016.

Police Misconduct
SB2591: Police departments will have to disclose more information about police misconduct. They will have to report to the Legislature how many officers were suspended or fired in a given year, and whether the disciplinary action resulted in criminal charges or was still subject to a union appeal.

Affordable Housing
Rental Housing Trust Fund
SB2542: Increases the allocation of conveyance tax collections to the rental housing trust fund from 30 percent to 50 percent beginning July 1, 2014. The rental housing trust fund is used to provide loans or grants for the development, pre-development, construction, acquisition, preservation, and substantial rehabilitation of rental housing units. It is estimated that restoring the allocation of conveyance ta collections to 50 percent will generate $33, 100,000 for the rental housing trust fund for fiscal year 2014-2015.

Bonds for Affordable Housing
HB 2448: Authorizes HHFDC to issue bonds for infrastructure for land owned by an eligible developer for the construction of affordable housing.

Housing Choice Voucher
HB1539: Requires the return of a housing choice voucher to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority upon the death or removal from assistance of the last original household member or upon the youngest minor of the family reaching the age of 21 or 23 if the minor is a full-time student. Prohibits adding legal guardians to the household unless the legal guardian is also eligible for participation in the program

Hula Mae Multifamily Revenue Bond
HB2251: Increases the Hula Mae Multifamily Revenue Bond authorization limit from $750,000,000 to $1,000,000,000. Hula Mae helps qualifying first-time homebuyers with 30-year mortgages at competitive rates and offers some down payment assistance.

Hawaiian Homelands
HB2288: Amends the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act to permit the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to dispose of department-owned or department-controlled improvements, or space within an improvement, on Hawaiian home lands through direct negotiation.

Public Safety
Nonviolent Offender reentry pilot project
HB2363: Provides systematic reentry programming for nonviolent, low-risk drug offenders by establishing and funding a reentry pilot project for nonviolent, low-risk drug offenders.

Statute of limitations on sex abuse cases
SB2687: Extends the period during which a victim of child sexual abuse may bring an otherwise time-barred civil action against the victim’s abuser or an entity with a duty of care, including the State and counties.

Sexual Assault, statute of limitations
HB2034: Removes the statute of limitations for criminal actions arising from sexual assault in the first and second degrees and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of fourteen years.

Habitual property crimes
HB2205: Imposes a mandatory minimum term of one year imprisonment upon conviction for the offense of habitual property crime. Authorizes probation only for a first conviction of the offense of habitual property crime.

Prostitution
HB1926: Amends the offense of prostitution to include sadomasochistic abuse under the definition of “sexual conduct” and clarify that a law enforcement officer shall not be exempt from the offense if the law enforcement officer engages in sexual penetration or sadomasochistic abuse while acting in the course and scope of duties. Amends the offense of solicitation of a minor for prostitution. Clarifies sentencing of repeat offenders and enhanced sentences for repeat violent and sexual offenders. Amends the applicability of a deferred acceptance of guilty plea or nolo contendere plea.

Human Trafficking
HB2038: Establishes the Human Trafficking Victim Services Fund to be administered by the DLIR to provide support and services to human trafficking victims. Also establishes human trafficking victim fees to be imposed upon persons convicted of labor trafficking and prostitution offenses.

Internet Crimes Against Children
HB702: Establishes an Internet Crimes Against Children Fee for each felony or misdemeanor conviction. Specifies order of priority for collection of fees. Establishes an Internet Crimes Against Children Special Fund. Requires deposit of fees collected into the Special Fund. Appropriates funds

Health
Tanning
HB 611: Prohibits tanning facilities from allowing the use of tanning beds by anyone under 18 and imposes fines for violations.

Hawaii Health Connector Oversight
SB2470: Establishes the Hawaii health connector as the State of Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange.

West Maui Hospital
HB2213: Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist West Maui Hospital and Medical Center Foundation, Inc. in establishing a hospital in west Maui

Cost-Effective Healthcare
HB1752: Appropriates funds to provide primary medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to uninsured and underinsured patients and restores basic adult dental benefits to Medicaid enrollees; and appropriates funds to community health centers to provide outreach.

Hawaiian
Geothermal on Hawaiian Home Lands
SB2953: Provides that all royalties from geothermal resources on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) lands shall be paid to DHHL. 

Higher Education
UH Hilo Astronomy Center
SB3093: Makes an appropriation to the University of Hawaii at Hilo to support its memorandum of agreement with RISE 21st Century After School Program.

Education
Charter Schools
HB1745: Authorizes the State Public Charter School Commission to assess fees on non-state entities and individuals to help offset its operating costs. Establishes pre-opening procedures and requirements for charter applicants. Clarifies that beginning with fiscal year 2015-2016, appropriations for the state public charter school commission are separate and in addition to appropriations for charter schools. Makes other amendments to Hawaii’s charter school law for clarity and consistency. Requires a report on the Commission’s staffing and operational expenditures.

Restraint and Seclusion
HB1796: Prohibits the use of seclusion in public schools; establishes conditions and procedures for the use of restraint in public schools; and requires collection and review of data. Requires reports. Makes an appropriation.

Superintendents Salary
HB2257: Adjusts the salary cap of the Superintendent of Education. Requires an annual evaluation of the Superintendent of Education based on outcomes determined by the Board of Education. Repeals June 30, 2024.

Hawaii 3R’s
HB2598: Renames the Hawaii 3R’s School Repair and Maintenance Fund the Hawaii 3R’s School Improvement Fund. Requires the transfer of moneys collected pursuant to section 235-102.5(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, and authorizes the transfer of any other moneys received in the form of grants and donations for school-level improvements and minor repairs and maintenance to the Hawaii 3R’s School Improvement Fund.

Mandatory Kindergarten
SB2768: Makes kindergarten mandatory for children who will be at least five years of age on July 31 of the school year, unless otherwise exempt.

Agriculture
Milk Control
HB2009: Establishes a minimum reserve requirement in the Milk Control Special Fund to cover contingency costs in the administration of the State’s Milk Control Act. Specifically includes audits as a contingency cost.

Macadamia Research
HB1931: Appropriates funds to DOA to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of macadamia felted coccid. Makes an appropriation. Effective 7/1/2014.

Lower Hamakua Ditch
HB2179: Limits the toll that the Board of Agriculture may charge for water from Lower Hamakua Ditch. Takes effect on 7/1/2015.

Coffee Berry Borer
HB1514: Establishes a Pesticide Subsidy Program until June 30, 2019, for the purchase of pesticides containing Beauveria bassiana to combat the coffee berry borer

Energy and Environment
Utilities Regulation
SB2809: Aligns statutory language regarding utility ratemaking with widely accepted utility ratemaking principles and ratemaking practices already applied in Hawaii by allowing utilities in the State the opportunity to earn a fair return on utility property that is “used and useful” for public utility purposes.

Environmental Courts
SB632: Establishes environmental courts as divisions of the circuit courts and district courts to hear proceedings, including certain chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, proceedings arising from certain environmental laws. Requires the Judiciary to convene a working group and report to the Legislature the total number of environmental-related cases filed in the last five years and recommendations for implementing environmental courts in the State.

Energy Systems Development Special Fund
SB2196: Re-establishes the energy systems development special fund, which was repealed. Extends the repeal of various allocations of the environmental response, energy, and food security tax from 2015 to 2030.

Public Utilities Commission
SB2948: Transfers the administrative placement of the public utilities commission from the department of budget and finance to the department of commerce and consumer affairs. Clarifies the public utilities commission’s authority concerning standard administrative practices, including operational expenditures and the hiring of personnel. Enables the chair of the public utilities commission to appoint, employ, and dismiss an executive officer, fiscal officer, and personnel officer. Establishes that the executive director of the division of consumer advocacy shall be the consumer advocate. Appropriates funds to effectuate the transfer of the public utilities commission and for the hiring of an executive officer, fiscal officer, and personnel officer.

Grid Modernization
HB1943 – Eliminates technical and economic barriers that prevent customer-generators from interconnecting to the Hawaii electric grid

Veterans
General Excise Tax
HB1772: Exempts from the general excise tax amounts received by a contractor of the Patient-Centered Community Care Program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for costs or advances to third party health care providers

Veterans Cemetery
HB1564: Requires the counties to obtain approval from the office of veterans’ services prior to any action that may impact the State’s obligation to establish and maintain veterans cemeteriess

Driver’s License
HB1770: Requires notation of veteran status on state driver’s licenses and identification cards if desired by the applicant. Effective October 1, 2014.

Gold Star Family Day
HB2071: Designates the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Family Day”.

# # #

Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means Senator David Ige Makes Final Speech at the Close of Session Today

State Sen. David Ige (D-Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea) today gave a final speech as Senator on the Senate floor at the close of the legislative session today. This marks a milestone in an effective career in leadership positions dedicated to serving the people of Hawaii. Sen. Ige has spent nearly three decades in public office, starting in the state House of Representatives for eight years before his 21 year tenure in the state Senate.

“I am thankful to the many colleagues I have had the privilege to serve with to make our home a better place for our children and future generations.   Over the years, I am proud to say that together we were able to increase public access to the legislative process, reform our education and auto insurance system, and pass key pieces of legislation that has helped to move Hawaii forward, while respecting the unique qualities that make our state so special,” said Ige.  “I am humbled and thankful to the people of the Aiea and Pearl City for allowing me the honor of serving our community for nearly three decades.”

Sen. Ige has been the chair of the highest ranking Senate Committee on Ways and Means for the past three years and has helped to shape and balance the state’s budget through tough economic times.

Ige’s colleague on the House side, House Finance Chair Representative Sylvia Luke, said, “David has been a brilliant budget negotiator dedicated to keeping our budget in balance without implementing new tax programs the past three years.”

He has led a total of nine House and Senate committees, including Higher Education, Education and Technology, Health, Hawaiian Affairs, Economic Development, Commerce, and Consumer Protection and Information Technology.

“David’s intelligence and fact-based, comprehensive decision-making approach has allowed him to effectively lead many of the most powerful committees at the Legislature,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “He is well-respected among his colleagues and highly-regarded by the community as a devoted public servant.”

This year named one of the 13 “tech-savviest” state legislators in the nation, Sen. Ige has spearheaded technology-based projects such as the Hawaii Telecommunications and Information Industries Act, a “paperless” Senate, and tax credits for knowledge-based tech companies. He also received the State Technology Innovator Award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers in 2010.

Sen. Ige has pioneered initiatives over the years that have garnered him many accolades, including:

  • 2013 – Hawaii Public Charter School honor for “being a catalyst for change and passing the charter school law in Hawaii”
  • 2011 – Outstanding Legislator of the Year, AARP
  • 2010 – Outstanding Elected Leader, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii 2010 State Technology Innovator Award, National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • 2000 – Outstanding Civic Leadership, Hawaii Technology Trade Association
  • 1998 – Friend of the Family Award, Hawaii Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • 1994 – GTE President’s Leadership Award, Team Leadership – Bronze 1994 Mahalo Award, The Friends of the Library of Hawaii
  • 1990 – High Technology Development Corporation Achievement Award, High Technology Development Corporation – State of Hawaii
  • 1989 – 20/20 Business Development Award, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

Sen. Ige was raised in Pearl City where he attended Pearl City Elementary, Highlands Intermediate and Pearl City High School. He attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration in Decision Sciences.  He and his wife Dawn, a public school vice principal, have three children currently in college.


Senator David Ige with his family

With a successful career as an electrical engineer executive for 34 years, Sen. Ige has continued to be devoted to information technology, telecommunications, networks and responsible public policy. He currently works with Robert A. Ige and Associates, Inc.

Ige concluded, “During my 29 years serving the public at the Legislature, I’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of state government and will continue to use this expertise to the benefit of all Hawaii.”

# # #

© Copyright Hawai'i Senate Majority Caucus - Theme by Pexeto