Newly Enacted Laws Support Women’s Health, Improves Healthcare Access, Protects Children

Members of the Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) were on hand as Governor David Ige signed several measures into law which provide greater assurance for families who utilize child care services, supports women’s health and access to healthcare, and addresses the growing opioid abuse epidemic.

The three measures signed into law were part of a package of bills submitted this session by the WLC.  An additional resolution, HCR 158, was adopted by the Legislature. HCR 158 encourages the continuation and expansion of community-based work furlough programs to assist female inmates transition back into society.

The Women’s Legislative Caucus is a bi-partisan organization comprised of women legislators in the House and Senate, as well as the County level, who support an agenda designed to improve the lives of women, children, and families in Hawai‘i.

“I’m pleased the Governor joins us in striving to make our state stronger by supporting women and families,” said Sen. Rosalyn Baker (S Dist. 6 – South and West Maui) and WLC Co-convener. “It’s a joy to work alongside these women legislators who consider the health, safety and well-being of the women and families of our state as a priority.”

“We are a caucus that is persistent. We not only passed bills, we also passed key resolutions that really build upon the collaboration of state, county and community stakeholders,” said Representative Della Au Bellati (H Dist. 24 – Makiki, Tantalus, McCully, Pawa‘a, Mānoa) and WLC Co-convener. “Signing the bill is just one thing, we now have to implement these measures. So, by partnering with our department agencies and folks within the communities, we make sure these bills actually deliver on the policies we put in place.”

The House and Senate bills signed by the Governor today:

SB505 SD1 HD2 CD1 (Act 66) Relating to Health

Requires prescribing healthcare providers to adopt and maintain policies for informed consent to opioid therapy in circumstances that carry elevated risk of dependency. An informed consent process is considered a best practice in tackling over prescriptions of opioids. Establishes limits for concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions. Clarifies Board of Nursing authority to enforce compliance with Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Repeals 6/30/2023.

SB513 SD1 HD2 CD1 (Act 67) Relating to Contraceptive Supplies

Authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptive supplies to patients regardless of a previous prescription, subject to specified education and procedural requirements. Enables pharmacists to be reimbursed for prescribing and dispensing contraceptive supplies.

SB514 SD1 HD1 CD1 (Act 68) Relating to Health

Authorizes pharmacists to administer the human papillomavirus, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), meningococcal, or influenza vaccine to persons between eleven and seventeen years of age. Specifies requirements pharmacists must meet prior to administering the human papillomavirus, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), meningococcal, or influenza vaccine.

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