First-term Puna Representative Joy San Buenaventura has introduced a slate of Puna related bills, in the aftermath of last summer’s Hurricane Iselle and in response to the ongoing lava flow from the Pu’u O’o vent.
“The residents of Puna face distinct issues that require us to take special action,” says San Buenaventura. “By working together we can take on these problems and build a better and more vibrant community. That’s why I’ve introduced these measures addressing a broad range of issues that Puna faces collectively and individually and will continue to face in the aftermath of this current flow activity.”
The following bills relate to the Puu Oo lava flow:
- HB1314 Emergency Home Relocation Special Fund; Appropriation. Establishes the emergency home relocation special fund to assist persons dispossessed of their homes as a result of a natural disaster. Appropriates funds.
- HB1369 CIP; County of Hawaii; Road Repair and Maintenance; GO Bonds; Appropriation. Authorizes general obligation bonds and appropriates funds to the county of Hawaii for the repair and maintenance of feeder roads and alternate routes for highway 130 and any portion of highway 130 under the jurisdiction of the county.
- HB1106 CIP; 4th Representative District. Authorizes issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates moneys for capital improvement projects in the 4th representative district.
- HB737 Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund; Hawaii Property Insurance Association. Authorizes the Hawaii property insurance association to spend funds in the Hawaii hurricane relief fund to pay for extraordinary losses caused by the flow of lava or other volcanic activity.
- HB1320 Emergency Management; Tree Maintenance. Authorizes entry into private property to mitigate hazards posed by trees to utility and communications lines and roadways. Assesses a fine of $150 per day against a landowner whose property must be entered for this purpose.
- HB383 Emergency Medical Services; Advanced Life Support Ambulance. Makes an appropriation for one advanced life support ambulance to be based in Puna on the island of Hawaii and to be used from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and to include a vehicle, equipment, and personnel costs.
- HB377 Mobile Health Unit; Appropriation. Appropriates a grant to the Bay Clinic, Inc., for a mobile health unit to service the Puna district due to the threat of inaccessibility from the lava flow.
- HB374 Transportation; Harbors; Kapoho Bay; Feasibility Study. Requires DOT to contract for a study on the feasibility of establishing a harbor or port at Kapoho bay.
- HB370 HPIA; Policy Renewals; Continued Coverage. Requires member insurers of HPIA to renew policies that were in effect as of 1/1/2014. Provides for continued coverage under an existing HPIA policy upon a transfer in ownership of the property.
- HB380 HPIA; Mandatory Issuance of Policies; Removal of Moratorium. Requires member insurers of HPIA to offer a minimum number of policies proportionate to their market share on properties that are situated in the areas designated for coverage by the insurance commissioner and that have been previously and continuously insured since 06/01/2014. Prohibits HPIA from issuing or continuing a moratorium on issuing policies on those same properties.
The following bills relate to Puna and the Big Island in general:
- HB1107 Bookmobile; Big Island; Educational Materials; Department of Education; Appropriation. Appropriates funds for the establishment and maintenance of a bookmobile that shall serve the rural areas of the island of Hawaii.
- HR6 Cellular; Broadband; Rural Communities. Requests reports regarding state agency action to ensure access by rural communities to cellular and broadband services.
- HB376 Chief Election Officer; Elections Commission; Evaluation; Term Length. Changes the term of the chief election officer to 2 years. Requires the elections commission to conduct a performance evaluation of the chief election officer within 2 months of certifying election results, and hold a public hearing relating to the performance evaluation.
- HB378 After School Bus Program; Island of Hawaii; Appropriation. Restores funding for the after school bus program on the island of Hawaii that was excluded from the 2015-2017 executive biennium budget. Appropriates moneys.
- HB1155 Albizia Trees; Conservation and Resources Enforcement Special Fund; Appropriation. Makes an appropriation from the conservation and resources enforcement special fund to DLNR for the removal of albizia trees on public and private land.
- HB1134 Judiciary; Third Circuit; Ho‘okele; Appropriations. Appropriates moneys for equipment, supplies, and salaries for Ho‘okele legal self-help service centers in Hilo and Kona.
- HB88 County Fuel Tax; Hawaii County. Permit’s Hawaii County to expend its share of fuel tax revenues for maintenance of private subdivision roads. Specifies that public entities are not required to install infrastructure on these roads upon a private sale.
The following bills relate to overall state issues:
- HB87 Process Server; Criminal Trespass. Shields process servers from prosecution under criminal trespass statutes when performing their duties.
- HB371 Foreclosures; Asset. Prohibits a mortgage creditor from executing on any asset of the debtor beyond the asset that is secured by the mortgage.
- HB372 Marijuana; Civil Penalties for Possession of One Ounce or Less. Establishes a civil violation for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana that is subject to fines.
- HB373 Transient Accommodations Tax. Amends amount of transient accommodations tax revenues allocated to the counties from a specified sum to an unspecified percentage of the revenues collected.
- HB375 Attachment or Execution of Property; Exemptions. Amends the thresholds for the exemption of real property from attachment or execution to be based upon the most recent real property tax assessment, regardless of value and for all types of property owners. Clarifies that attachment or execution does not apply to a debtor who is not delinquent in payment of income taxes, real property taxes, or mortgages. Bases the value threshold of certain personal property exempted from attachment and execution on the fair market value as adjusted by the consumer price index. Exempts child support moneys and tax refunds from the federal earned income tax credit and federal or state child support tax credit from attachment and execution.
- HB381 Homeowners’ Associations; Planned Community Associations. Expands the law on planned community associations to apply to homeowners’ associations so that all disputes are mediated instead of going to court.
- HB382 Employees’ Retirement System; Division of Pension. Requires the Employees’ Retirement System to divide pensions between a retired employee and non-employee former spouse or civil union partner, upon application and pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order. This has the effect of ensuring that employees for the full pension benefits and in the event of domestic violence spouse, victim need not ask for their share of pension.
- HB833 Transient Accommodations Tax; Counties; Revenues. Makes permanent the current amount of transient accommodations tax revenues allocated for distribution to the counties. This allows the county of Hawaii to file and the State cannot lessen the county’s share of the annual hotel room tax
- HB834 Check Cashing; Deferred Deposits. Requires the written agreement for the deferred deposit of checks to also state that all cumulative fees charged for deferred deposit transactions shall not exceed an annual percentage rate of 39%.
- HB1204 Procurement; Sustainable Procurements Manager; Appropriation. Appropriates funds for a new position within the state procurement office tasked with facilitating the development and implementation of procurement processes for public agencies and private organizations for the purpose of food sustainability in Hawaii.
- HB1205 Hawaii-grown Food Procurement Task Force; Procurement; Appropriation. Establishes and appropriates funds for the Hawaii-grown food procurement task force for the purpose of creating recommendations for increasing procurement of food grown in Hawaii by State departments and agencies.
- HB1206 University of Hawaii Sustainability Office; Appropriation. Establishes the University of Hawaii sustainability office. Appropriates funds.
The public can participate in legislative discussions and follow the progress of the bills by logging onto the Capitol website at www.capitol.hawaii.gov.
A full list of measures proposed by Rep. San Buenaventura is available at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports/advreport.aspx?report=intro&year=2015&leg=San%20Buenaventura&rpt_type=first_pri.
The public is also invited to a community meeting later this month at the Pahoa Community Center on Feb. 27, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. The community is welcomed to stop by to voice their concerns and to receive a legislative update from Rep. San Buenaventura.
Anyone wishing to receive information and updates via email can join Rep. San Buenaventura’s email list by sending a request to sanbuenaventura1@Capitol.hawaii.gov.