Bills support healthcare, education, government restructuring and the economy

Hawaii State Capitol. PC: Majority of the Hawaii Senate

The Hawaii State Senate adjourned the 2021 regular session on Thursday after taking action in a number of priority areas, including health care, education, government restructuring and the economy.

The Senate 2021 legislative agenda focuses on 10 of the 17 identified sustainable development goals that aim to provide a framework for improving the quality of life today and for future generations.

“These extraordinary times have forced us to take unprecedented steps to ensure that we meet our constitutional obligations to adopt a balanced budget while providing the necessary resources to our districts and communities,” said the Senate Majority Leader. , J. Kalani English (District 7 – Hāna, East and Maui Hinterlands, MolokaÊ»i, LānaÊ»i and KahoÊ»olawe). “What we have accomplished this session is just the beginning of what needs to be done to help HawaiÊ»i fully recover from the impact of this COVID-19 pandemic and I have no doubts that the Senate will continue to work during this period. interim to tackle some of these issues. difficult problems. ”

The HB200 HD1 SD1 CD1, the state budget, is among the most significant measures adopted during this session. This measure provides $ 14.926 billion in general funds, $ 1.352 billion in federal assistance from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) and $ 31.17 billion through all funding methods for the biennium beginning July 1 2021 and ending June 30, 2023.

The budget includes $ 31,035,000 for cash assistance for child care, $ 14,300,000 for maintenance of homeless services, $ 2,594,198 for the Early College program and $ 5,400,000 for funding. additional for general assistance payments to temporarily disabled people.


Other important bills approved by the Legislature and aligned with Senate priorities include:


SDG # 3: good health and well-being

SB936 SD2 HD1 CD1 (Brennan’s Bill) authorizes the Ministry of Health to disseminate information on first aid in the event of a crisis. The measure also allows employers to disseminate crisis first aid information provided by the Ministry of Health to their employees at the employer’s workplace.

SB970 SD2 HD2 authorizes the establishment of a doctor-patient relationship through a telehealth interaction if the doctor is licensed to practice medicine in the state.


HB723 HD1 SD2 CD1 authorizes the use of funds withdrawn from the emergency and budgetary reserve fund, from monies received by the state under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, for the purchase and the distribution of personal protective equipment and industrial hygiene products to State services and attached agencies.

SDG # 4: Quality education

SB1384 HD1 CD1 provides that the prohibition on serving two consecutive terms not exceeding eight consecutive years will not apply to the term of the representative of the average Hawaiian preschool education service providers on the Early Learning Board.

HB613 HD2 SD2 CD2 allocates funds received by the state from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to areas where local schools are most lacking.

SB242 SD2 HD2 CD1 requires public and charter schools to provide computer training.

SB811 HD1 CD1 demands that the Department of Education publish a weekly report on schools that have reported positive cases of COVID-19.

SDG # 7: Clean and Affordable Energy

SB932 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes the revolving credit fund for clean energy and energy efficiency. The measure also allows the use of funds from the special fund for green infrastructure to finance the option to purchase solar power systems and other clean energy equipment, including the purchase or rental of vehicles. electric.

HB1142 HD2 SD2 CD1 allocates three cents of the barrel tax to finance the installation of charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs). The measure also authorizes each county to pass ordinances to enforce section 291-71 of Hawaii’s Revised Statutes, including establishing penalties for failing to meet its requirements or making reasonable efforts to maintain EV charging systems in working order.

SDG # 8: Decent work and economic growth

SB263 SD2 HD2 CD1 transfers oversight of the “Hawaiʻi Made” program for manufactured products and the “Hawaiʻi Made” brand to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

SB1043 SD2 HD1 CD1 expands the eligibility of organizations that can receive Community Economic Development (CBED) Technical Assistance not only from community-based (non-profit) organizations, but also includes businesses, especially those that currently have CBED loans or may apply a CBED loan in the future.

HB1191 HD2 SD2 CD1 establishes the Broadband Infrastructure Grants Program to award grants to applicants to expand the deployment of infrastructure used to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved areas of the state. The measure also establishes the Hawaii office for broadband and digital equity within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and requires the governor to appoint a strategic broadband coordinator to lead the office of the broadband and digital equity in Hawaii.

SDG n ° 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure

SB696 SD1 HD1 CD1 extends the date on which the Temporary Committee of the Thirteenth Pacific Arts Festival will cease to exist to August 31, 2025.

SB1015 SD2 HD1 CD1 expands the functions of the Controller to include the assessment of office space, including the initiation, cancellation and renegotiation of current and new leases, allocation of office space and telecommuting infrastructure requirements for agencies and employees occupying facilities operated by the Department of Accounting and General Services or in state facilities.

SDG n ° 10: reduction of inequalities

SB159 SD1 HD1 CD1 applies for voter registration in all state identity card and driver’s license applications. The measure also requires updating the names and addresses of qualified candidates who are already registered to vote unless the candidate declines.

SB548 SD1 HD2 CD1 sets up voters with special needs advisory committees at the state and county levels. The measure also requires the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and Parole Authority to notify those on parole or probation of their right to vote and provide them with voting information; and demands that the Election Office and county clerks determine, as soon as possible, the optimal number and location of voter service centers.

SB793 SD1 HD1 CD1 repeals the exemption of persons with disabilities from minimum wage requirements.

HB282 HD1 SD2 CD1 clarifies the definition of “provider” with respect to entities eligible to provide emergency shelter and related services free of charge to a consenting minor to include certain organizations that are not considered child placement organizations or childcare institutions.

SDG n ° 11: Sustainable cities and communities

SB244 SD2 HD1 CD1 Extends donor liability protection to include food donations and similar donations made to those in need by organizations. The measure also allows for the donation of expired food when the donor has a reasonable belief in good faith that the food remains fit for human consumption.

HB79 HD1 SD2 CD1 establishes an Affordable Home Ownership Revolving Fund within HHFDC to provide loans to nonprofit community development financial institutions and nonprofit housing development organizations for the development of affordable housing projects for the property.

HB683 HD2 SD1 CD1 establishes the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Program to provide matching grants to any small business in Hawaii that develops products related to sustainable aviation fuel or the reduction of greenhouse gases from commercial aviation operations .

HB753 HD1 SD2 Excludes housing developed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands from school impact fees for 3 years and allows impact fees from the construction cost component to be used to improve or renovate existing structures for use by schools .

HB767 HD2 SD2 Expands the Department of Agriculture’s Hawaii Farm-to-School program to the Department of Education. The measure also establishes a programmatic target for the Ministry of Education that at least 30% of food served in public schools should be made with local produce by 2030.

SDG # 13: Climate action

SB474 SD1 HD2 CD1 requires seller’s mandatory disclosures in real estate transactions to include identification of residential real estate located in the sea level rise exposure area.

HB243 HD1 SD2 CD1 requests the Planning Bureau, in cooperation with each state agency with operational responsibilities over public facilities, to identify existing and planned facilities that are vulnerable to sea level rise, the effects of flooding and natural risks; assess a range of options to mitigate the effects of sea level rise on these facilities; and submit annual reports to the Governor, Legislature and the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission regarding vulnerability and adaptation assessments of public facilities and progress made in implementing sea level rise adaptation in future plans, programs and capital improvement needs and decisions.

SDG # 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

HB862 HD2 SD2 CD1 abolishes the Office of Aerospace Development, the Aerospace Advisory Committee, and the Hawaii Unmanned Air Systems Test Site Advisory Committee. The measure also allows counties to introduce a tax on temporary housing at a rate not exceeding 3 percent.

HB1318 HD1 SD1 CD1 transfers rights, powers, employees, appropriations and other personal property from the Office of Environmental Quality Control to the Planning Office.

HB200 HD1 SD1 CD1 brings together a number of agencies and ministerial commissions. These include the consolidation of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission with the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts; consolidation of Office of Enterprise Technology Services programs for efficiency and resource alignment; and the consolidation of the staff of the Office of Research and Statistics of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the Office of Tourism Research of the Hawaii Board of Tourism into the Division of Economic Research and Analysis to to centralize the state’s research functions.

The governor has until June 21, 2021 to inform the legislator of his intention to veto.

About Christopher Easley

Check Also

Botolan sells rice below P20

BOTOLAN, Zambales: Residents of this town now buy rice for less than 20 pesos per …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.