Members of the State Senate voted to pass a number of important measures on today’s final reading.
By a unanimous vote, the Senate adopted HB1700 CD1 which added for the supplemental operating budget $405,792,059 in all methods of financing, of which $202,317,436 accounts for general fund increases for Fiscal Year 2017. This represents a targeted 3.1% increase on last year’s biennium budget, and $159,773,111 less than what the Governor requested. The conference draft also reduces $13,761,322 in general funds in Fiscal Year 2016 as a result of Medicaid savings that were realized, in line with the Senate Ways and Means’ guiding principle of better utilizing base funding and maximizing existing resources.
Other highlights of the budget bill include:
- $81.9 million in prefunding for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB)
- $12 million lump sum appropriation for homeless programs
- $10 million for Preschool Open Doors
- $4.7 million for conservation efforts and protection against invasive species
- $4.8 million for programs supporting the agriculture industry
- $3 million for kūpuna care
- $4 million in grants supporting high tech and manufacturing industries
In support of education, the Senate passed SB3126 SD2 HD2 CD1, which provides $100 million in general funds to install air conditioning for public schools.
The Senate also voted to approve HB1850 HD1 SD3 CD1 which would allow alternative accommodations companies to register as tax collection agents with the state.
Other bills passed on final reading include:
- HB2501 HD1, SD2, CD1 requires that where an application has been made for a lease to continue a previously authorized disposition of water rights, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for a total of three consecutive one-year holdovers, whichever occurs sooner.
- HB2675 HD1 SD2 CD1 which appropriates funds for research to combat rapid ohia death.
- SB2659 SD2 HD1 CD1 which establishes an industrial hemp pilot program.
- HB1907 HD2 SD2 CD1 requires all law enforcement agencies and departments charged with maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault evidence collection kits to conduct an inventory of all stored kits and report to the Attorney General.
- SB2618 SD1, HD2, CD1 requires the department of transportation to conduct a feasibility study of establishing an interisland and intra-island ferry system.
- SB2954 SD2 HD1 authorizes county police departments to enroll firearms applicants and individuals who are registering their firearms into a criminal record monitoring service used to alert police when an owner of a firearm is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country.
- SB2647 SD1 HD2 prohibits the sale, offer to sell, purchase, trade, or possession with intent to sell, or barter of any part or product from various animal and marine species. Provides exceptions for traditional cultural practices protected under the State Constitution.
The Senate recommitted SB2816, SD1 HD2 which would have amended the criminal trespass law to apply to state properties regardless of whether it is fenced, enclosed, or otherwise secured and HB32, SD2 CD1 which would have clarified crosswalk procedures and establish safety precautions at crosswalks.
The bills that were adopted on final reading and passed by the House will now be enrolled to the Governor for his signature, veto or passage without his signature.
For a list of all the bills that were voted on Final Reading, visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov