Hawai‘i House Passes 131 Bills to Senate

Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

The Hawai‘i House of Representatives passed 131 bills on third reading on Friday, March 2, 2018, moving them to the Senate for their consideration. The bills include housing, homelessness, education, health, the environment, public safety, governmental affairs, the environment and other important issues.

Here are some of the highlights:

Homelessness and Housing

HB2281 Establishes within the Department of Human Services an Ohana Zones program to provide housing to homeless individuals and families based on principles similar to Housing First and appropriates unspecified funds for the program.

HB2753 Establishes the Ohana Zone Pilot Program. Defines the intent of the pilot program, and sets preliminary milestones that shall be met by the Department of Human Services, Homeless Programs Office in establishing the pilot program.

HB2472 Specifies that certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code related to at-risk rules and deductions and to passive activity loss do not apply with respect to claims for the state low-income housing tax credit.

HB2703 (1) Allocates a portion of the conveyance tax revenues to the rental assistance revolving fund to be used to subsidize rents for persons who meet certain income requirements; (2) Increases the income tax credit for low-income household renters to an unspecified amount; and (3) Makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and changes the amount of the credit to an unspecified percentage of the federal earned income tax credit.

HB2744 Appropriates funds to provide additional rent supplement subsidies.

HB2745 Expands the rental assistance program by increasing the minimum percentage of affordable units a rental housing project is required to maintain for eligible tenants from 20% to 30%. Appropriates funds to support new rental assistance program contracts.

HB1727 Requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees to be used to care for themselves or a family member who is ill or needs medical care, or due to a public health emergency. Gives employers flexibility to offer paid sick leave to minimum wage and other employees or to pay minimum wage employees a salary that is more than the minimum wage.

Education

HB1720 Allows for a state income tax deduction for teacher supplies purchased for use in the classroom and for professional development courses; provided that the teacher obtains a written certification from the Department of Education.

Health

HB1911 Requires home care agencies to be licensed or certified. Authorizes the Department of Health to inspect home care agencies. Requires the Department of Health to establish a home care aid registry. Authorizes the Department of Health to establish procedures for the receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints against home care agencies. Authorizes the Department of Health to enter a care facility when investigating a facility or home. Allows the Department of Health to establish a forum where state-licensed care facilities may post job vacancies. Imposes criminal penalty for the intentional operation of a community-based foster family home, adult foster family home, adult day care center, or home care agency without a license. Requires the Department of Health to establish a working group to discuss and provide feedback for the implementation of the job vacancy forum.

HB2611 Appropriates moneys for Department of Health to fund substance abuse treatment programs relating to persons with multiple chronic conditions, a centralized referral system, case management programs, and a peer mentoring or coaching program.

HB2208 Requires association health plan policies to comply with the laws of this State regardless of the association’s domicile. Enables certain voluntary associations, including employer associations that issue association health plans, to qualify for authorization to transact insurance in the State.

HB2128 Requires that health insurance policies include coverage for clinical victim support services for victims of sexual violence and abuse who suffer from mental disorders.

HB2729 Amends the reciprocity program and adds a visiting patient certifying fee. Extends expiration of a written certification to three years for chronic conditions. Permits retesting of a failed batch of medical cannabis or products. Permits dispensary licensees to distribute devices that provide safe pulmonary administration. Increases the maximum allowable tetrahydro cannibinol limit for multi-pack cannabis products and single containers of oil.

Public Safety

HB1614 Automatically imposes a restraining order upon parties filing for annulment, divorce, or separation to preserve the financial assets of the parties and their dependents and maintain the current island of residence and school of enrollment of a minor child of the parties.

HB2131 Creates a Hawaii Sexual Assault Response and Training Program to address the manner in which sexual assault evidence collection kits are processed and tracked, and to ensure that victims of sexual assault are informed of their rights under the law.

HB2200 Allows an employer to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction against further harassment of an employee or invitee who may be harassed at the employer’s premises or worksite, provided that the provisions do not apply to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations or any of its employees with investigatory duties and responsibilities.

HB2169 Appropriates moneys for youth suicide early intervention, prevention, and education initiatives in Maui county.

Government

HB1656 Increases the amount of the fine that may be assessed against a noncandidate committee making only independent expenditures for campaign spending violations. Allows the Campaign Spending Commission to order that a fine assessed against a noncandidate committee, or any portion thereof, be paid from the personal funds of officers of the noncandidate committee.

HB2541 Enacts voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections commencing in 2020, and allows any election to be conducted by mail prior to the 2020 primary election.

HB1799 Allows only nonprofit corporations to be recipients of grants in aid appropriated by the Legislature under Chapter 42F, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The Environment

HB 2728 Establishes a Clean Transportation Initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all public ground transportation by 2035.

Click here for a list of all bills passed by the House of Representative so far this session.

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