Governor Abercrombie Enacts Legislation Relating to Transportation of School Children

Announces Appointment of New BOE Members

Gov. Neil Abercrombie attended the Board of Education (BOE) meeting today, publicly signing two bills relating to the state Department of Education (DOE) and transportation for Hawaii’s public school students.

“These measures will help to control the escalating cost of student transportation,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.  “These laws were established with the cooperation of the BOE and DOE, which will provide more control for fiscal responsibility.”

SB1082 (Relating to Transportation of School Children) simplifies Section 302A-406, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  The bill allows for more flexibility by the BOE and DOE regarding contract requirements.  This measure will provide the DOE with a tool to control costs of school bus transportation by removing statutory requirements related to school bus procurement.

SB1083 (Relating to Transportation of School Children) exempts contracts for transportation for school services from Section 103-55, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Under the provisions of this bill, the DOE will not need to require school bus contractors to certify that they pay same wages as public officers and employees. The bill removes the statutory requirements related to school bus procurement.

“The board is most appreciative of the support of the Governor and Legislature,” said BOE Chair Don Horner. “These bills will provide the Department with tools to more efficiently and effectively manage our rising transportation costs in order to sustain this vital service to our students.”

“These bills help the department in its move to improve the efficiency and control the cost of student bus transportation system,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “The support of the legislature is much appreciated.”

At today’s signing ceremony, the Governor thanked outgoing BOE members Kimberly Gennaula and Charlene Cuaresma (terms ended July 14), and announced his appointments of Patricia Halagao and Amy Asselbaye to the BOE (effective July 15).

Patricia Halagao (At Large) is an Associate Professor in Curriculum Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education. She also serves as the lead in developing educational initiatives for the proposed Obama Presidential Center.  She was recently awarded the UH Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2012. Halagao is helping to coordinate education programming for the Hokulea’s worldwide voyage.  She was previously a teacher in the Oakland Public Schools system.

Amy Asselbaye (Oahu) is the Director of Strategic and Community Development at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and a small business owner. She served as a congressional staffer, including Chief of Staff, to Governor and Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Asselbaye served as school community council chair at Wailupe Elementary School and is currently a parent representative on the school community council for Aina Haina Elementary School where her three children attended school.

Bills Relating to Taxation and Firearms Also Signed

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed one bill relating to tax deductions resulting from donations to charitable organizations and two bills related to law enforcement.

HB430 (Relating to Taxation) exempts charitable deductions from the itemized state income tax deduction caps.

“With the state economy and revenue picture greatly improved since I took office, we now have an opportunity to further support nonprofit and charitable organizations in their efforts for the greater good,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “The measure is a result of a partnership between charitable organizations, the Legislature, and the Administration.”

SB69 (Relating to Firearms) closes a loophole regarding fingerprint, photograph and background checks for those bringing firearms into Hawaii, providing consistency with firearms obtained locally.

SB2 (Relating to Simulated Firearms) amends the offenses of terroristic threatening in the first degree and robbery in the first degree to include the use of simulated firearms.

“These bills assist law enforcement in their duty to serve the public and keep people safe,” explained Gov. Abercrombie.

 

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