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Hawaii Senators Pass More Than 250 House Bills for Second Crossover

Members of the State Senate today passed 150 House bills that addresses areas of the environmental protection, economic development, crime victim protections and water rights.

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More than 250 bills have passed third reading on the floor of the Senate and will be returning to the House ahead of the final crossover deadline of Thursday, April 14, 2016. A majority of the bills will move into conference committees where the House and Senate Conferees will convene to discuss the House and Senate drafts and come to an agreement on a final amended version.

“We attempted to move forward measures we felt reflected the priorities of the Senate,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, (Dist. 7 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Senate Majority Leader. “There are a number of areas in which the House and Senate share a mutual concern. We’ll work on the details in conference and I’m hopeful the outcome will be responsible bills.”

A top priority for the Hawai‘i Senate Majority concerns homelessness and housing. A number of measures that focuses on these issues were passed by the Senate, including HB2647 HD2 SD2, which establishes a three-year Work for a Day pilot program to be administered by the City and County of Honolulu that provides homeless individuals with work opportunities and HB2244 HD1 SD2 which appropriates funds to support housing programs.

Measures passing third reading that protect the environment, another priority of the Senate program, include HB1050 SD2 which appropriates funds to the Department of Agriculture to address the interisland spread of invasive species and HB2646 HD2 SD2  that creates a permanent fuel tank advisory committee to study, monitor, and address fuel tank leak issues.

The Senate also passed bills that support good governance including HB1653 HD1 SD1 implementing election by mail beginning with the primary election in 2018 and HB2632 HD2 SD2 which requires firearms owners who are diagnosed with a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder or for treatment for organic brain syndromes, or due to emergency or involuntary hospitalization, to immediately surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police.

Other significant House measures passed by the Senate include:

HB260 HD1 SD1 establishes motor vehicle insurance requirements for transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers.

HB1072 HD1 SD2 enables the board of psychology to accept applications for prescriptive authority privilege and grant prescriptive authority to prescribing psychologists who meet specific education, training, and registration requirements.

HB1700 HD1 SD1 adjusts and requests appropriations for Fiscal Biennium 2015‑-17 funding requirements for operations and capital improvement projects of Executive Branch agencies and programs.

HB1713 HD2 SD2 exempts extracurricular service of employees from the state ethics code if certain conditions are met. Defines detached remuneration and extracurricular service.

HB1787 HD3 SD2 creates and appropriates funds for Erin’s Law Task Force to review policies, programs, and curricula for educating public school students about sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention, and report recommendations for the establishment of a program to educate public school children on sexual abuse prevention through age appropriate curricula.

HB1902 HD2 SD1 replaces the term “promoting prostitution in the first degree” with the term “sex trafficking,” as a class A felony and establish that prosecution is required to prove only that the person committing the offense of sex trafficking acted negligently if the person knowingly advanced or profited from prostitution of a minor. Includes the offense of sex trafficking in the department of the attorney general’s statewide witness program.

HB1907 HD2 SD2 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 kits they store and transmit a report of the number of untested sexual assault evidence kits they possess to the department of the attorney general.

HB2263 HD1 SD1 appropriates funds for the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to conduct an economic assessment study on the development and economic viability of a small satellite launch and processing facility on the Island of Hawai‘i.

HB2501 HD2 SD2 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 three years, whichever is sooner. Requires that the holdover is consistent with the public trust doctrine and any applicable law.

HB2605 HD1 SD2 appropriates funds to establish, administer, and support on-the-job training for individuals who are unemployed and dislocated due to the closure of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and the Makena Beach and Golf Resort on Maui.

A full list of the House bills passed by the Senate can be found on the Hawai‘i State Legislative website www.capitol.hawaii.gov.

The Hawai‘i Senate Majority’s Legislative Program can be viewed at www.hawaiisenatemajority.com.

Hawaii House of Representatives Passes More Than 100 Senate Measures on Final Crossover

The state House of Representatives passed today more than 100 Senate measures dealing with heat abatement for schools, homelessness and affordable housing, crime victims’ rights, body-worn cameras for police, the creation of a law enforcement review board, senior care facility and medical marijuana dispensary inspections, an interisland ferry study, and the Judiciary budget.

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“These bills represent a broad range of concerns for the state, from affordable housing and homelessness to interisland transportation,” said Joseph M. Souki, Speaker of the state House of Representatives.  “They address the needs of our keiki, victims of crime, medical patients, and our kupuna, and go a long way in making life and lives better in Hawaii.  I would like to thank the representatives, their staff, the state departments, the private and nonprofit organizations, and every Hawaii resident who took the time to provide input so that we could create and improve the laws that govern us all.”

Among the bills passed by the House were:

EDUCATION

SB3126 SD2 HD2, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the use of funds from the Green Infrastructure Loan Program to implement and expedite cooling measures in public school classrooms, and requires the Department of Education to become net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035;

SB2624 SD2 HD1, which provides a state income tax credit for certain expenses paid or incurred by school teachers, special education teachers, school librarians, and counselors for supplementary materials used in the classroom, as well as for accompanying students for educational travel;

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

SB2833 SD2 HD2, which amends the state low-income housing tax credit and bases the amount of the tax credit on whether a building is financed by tax-exempt bonds;

SB2566 SD1 HD1, which transfers excess moneys from the rental assistance revolving fund to the rental housing revolving fund;

SB2563 SD1 HD1, which amends operations of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority and funding eligibility criteria of the Rental Housing Revolving Fund to make HPHA projects eligible for loans and grants from the Revolving Fund and granting the Authority preferences and priority in loan and grant applications.  Requires the Authority to coordinate with other state agencies in developing transit-proximate affordable housing;

PUBLIC SAFETY

SB3034 SD1 HD2, known as Marsy’s Law, which proposes a ballot question for an amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution to provide the victims of crimes with specific rights related to the criminal justice process;

SB2411 SD2 HD2, which establishes requirements, restrictions, and implementation timelines for body-worn cameras and vehicle cameras for county police departments, and appropriates funds for each county to purchase body-worn and vehicle video cameras;

SB2439 SD1 HD1, which establishes exceptions to the offense of obstructing government operations and the offense of violation of privacy in the second degree for a person making a video or audio recording or photograph of a law enforcement officer while the officer is in the performance of duties in a public place or under circumstances in which the officer has no reasonable expectation of privacy;

SB2196 SD2 HD1, which establishes a law enforcement officer independent review board within the Department of the Attorney General to investigate incidents of officer-involved death;

SB2816 SD1 HD2, which adds the offense of criminal trespass onto state lands to the penal code, amends criminal trespass in the second degree to apply to government agricultural property regardless of whether it is fenced, enclosed or otherwise secured;

HEALTH

SB2384 SD1 HD1, which requires the Department of Health to conduct unannounced visits and inspections, including inspections for relicensing and recertification, for certain state-licensed or state-certified care facilities and unannounced inspections for license renewals for medical marijuana production centers and dispensaries;

SB2181 SD2 HD2, which permits manufacturers of investigational drugs or biological products beginning on January 1, 2017, to make these drugs and products available to terminally ill patients under certain conditions;

SB2319 SD1 HD3, which requires health insurers in the state, including health benefits plans under the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund and Medicaid managed care programs, to cover reimbursement for contraceptive supplies intended to last for up to a 12-month period for an insured;

SB3084 SD1 HD2, which authorizes the state Department of Health to establish a cesspool tax credit or rebate program to facilitate cesspool conversions or improvements by residents;

TRANSPORTATION

SB2618 SD1 HD2, which directs the state Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study on establishing an interisland and intra-island ferry system;

AGRICULTURE

SB1374 SD2 HD2, which requires the Department of Agriculture to negotiate land exchanges with Dole Food Company, Inc. to conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency, and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands for the future;

HIGHER EDUCATION

SB2398 SD2 HD2, which establishes a collective bargaining unit for graduate student assistants employed by the University of Hawaii;

ENDANGERED SPECIES

SB2647 SD1 HD2, which prohibits the sale, purchase, trade, possession with intent to sell, or barter of any part or product, including ivory, from animal species that are threatened with extinction;

The House also passed the Judiciary supplemental budget.  Both chambers have until Thursday, April 14, to pass on third reading any remaining bills before the Second Crossover deadline.

Following the deadline, the amended Senate bills passed by the House, along with the amended House bills passed by the Senate, will go into conference committees where House and Senate conferees will negotiate differences in the measures and determine which will be presented for final consideration.

For more information on all of the Senate bills passed by the House so far this session, see the links to the (amended) and (unamended) bills.

Hawaii House of Representatives Moves 69 Bills Over to Senate

The Hawaii House of Representatives moved 69 Bills over to the Senate for consideration.

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Among the measures approved by the House several focused on  sustainability, the environment, the economy,  healthy living and improving the quality of life of Hawaii’s citizens.

  • HB 503 Relating to the General Excise Tax.  The bill provides local farmers with a tax deduction for all produce grown and sold within the state.
  • HB 478 Relating to the Department of Education.  The bill allows schools to establish their own gardens and to utilize the produce in their meal programs.
  • HB 560 Relating to Affordable Housing Urban Gardening.  The bill encourages development projects to incorporate urban gardening into their plans.
  • HB 1365 Relating to Urban Agriculture.  The bill  allows for a rooftop garden on the State Capitol roof to promote agricultural innovation and greater food security in Hawaii and  serve as a symbol of the importance our  the State places on agriculture sustainability.
  • HB 726 Relating to Film and Digital Media Industry Development.  The purpose of the bill is to encourage new film, television, entertainment, digital media and music video production in Hawaii by enhancing existing incentives and thus adding to the diversification of our economy.
  • HB 1339 Relating to the Transient Accommodations Tax.  The bill intends to help the tourism industry retain its competitive edge in its promotional and marketing efforts by repealing the $10 daily hotel tax collected on rooms furnished on a complimentary or gratuitous basis.
  • HB120 Relating to Health.  The bill protects the health and safety of the public by enhancing public access regarding information on care homes.
  • HB 358 Relating to Video Conferencing.  The bill would make it more accessible for neighbor  island residents to participate in state government.  It requires that the legislature establish audio visual procedures for people on the neighbor islands to provide oral testimony at legislative committee hearings.
  • HB 1432 Relating to Aging and Disability Resource Centers.  The bill would support the elderly and aging population by appropriating an unspecified amount of funds to statewide aging and disability centers.

Bills That Made the Cut: Crossover at the Legislature

From the Public Access Room at the State Capital:

Suzanne Marinelli Describes the Legislative Process at the Pahoa Library

Suzanne Marinelli Describes the Legislative Process at the Pahoa Library

Aloha,

Thursday, March 12th, was the First Crossover deadline for all non-Budget bills.

What does that mean?  All surviving non-budget bills have:

· passed through their committees, and

· three readings in their originating chamber, and have now

· crossed over to the other chamber. (That is to say, House bills are now being considered by the Senate, and Senate bills are now being considered by the House).

Two things to note:

1) It’s a good time to review which bills are still alive after First Crossover – this deadline really brings down the numbers, and only about 730 bills are still viable.  Many of them have changed substantially from when they were first introduced, so it’s a good opportunity to glance through the list of bills and their descriptions to make sure there are no surprises.

· To see the list of bills  on the legislature’s website (www.capitol.hawaii.gov ),  go to the “Bill Status and Documents” page and scroll down to the second-to-the-last box (labeled, “2009 Regular Session Bills Introduced, Passed, and Vetoed”) and select “Bills Passed First Crossover.”

· The list includes bill descriptions, current status, current referrals, and names of introducers.  You can view the current text of a bill (by clicking either the .pdf   or the .html  symbols that appear in the far left column) or a bill’s status sheet (by clicking on the bill number).

· The list is easy to export to Excel  — which makes handy for creating your own customized list.

2) Things are moving quickly!  Make sure to keep your eyes open for hearing notices.  By March 27th, all bills must be in their last committee.  That’s less than two weeks away!  (For tips on finding hearing notices, take a look at our February newsletter available on PAR’s website.