Representative Cindy Evans’s Response to Questions on Special Session on Honolulu Rapid Transit System

Rep. Cindy Evans

Aloha Damon,
I understand you wish to get a pulse before special session.

At this time I will pass on answering your questions. There are currently too many options available and until I see the bill, I feel the questions are unrealistic.

Best Regards,

Cindy Evans


Aloha Rep. Evans

Mahalo for representing the Big Island in legislative issues. I have some questions for you folks and hope you will respond to me by Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Questions:
1. Will you vote YES or NO on a 1% STATEWIDE increase to the Transient Accommodations Tax (9.25% to 10.25%) to help fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System in the upcoming legislative special session?
If your answer is YES, please explain why? If your answer is NO, please explain why?
2. Would you support a 6 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% from 2027 to 2034 if this will help fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?
YES or NO
3. Would you support an increase of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% to 0.62% and a 3 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge from 2028 to 2030 if this will fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?
YES or NO

Thank you for your participation in this quick and important decision that will affect all of us on this island.

Women’s Legislative Caucus Unveils it’s Package for the 2012 Legislative Session

The Women’s Legislative Caucus unveiled its package for the 2012 Legislative Session. This year’s set of bills and resolutions is dedicated to women veterans. The package also includes recognition of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free or low-cost housing to veterans and families receiving treatment at military medical centers.

The Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) is composed of Representatives Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Rida T.R. Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne W.L. Ching, Cindy Evans, Faye P. Hanohano, Sharon Har, Linda Ichiyama, Jo Jordan, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Dee Morikawa, Kymberly Marcos Pine, Cynthia Thielen, and Jessica Wooley. Senators Roz Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Pohai Ryan, Maile Shimabukuro, Malama Solomon, and Jill Tokuda represent the WLC in the Senate.

These 26 female lawmakers account for 34% of the 27th Hawai’i State Legislature, putting the state well above the national average of 23.3%.

The bills introduced this session by the WLC address women’s health, the establishment of an automated victim notification system, the amendment of birth certificates for transgendered individuals, the requirement of birth defects warnings in liquor establishments, breastfeeding in the workplace, cervical and breast cancer screenings, funding for the reintegration of female offenders from incarceration back into the community, mandatory reporting requirements concerning child abuse, and the establishment of a special fund for child assault victims.

The WLC will also be proposing resolutions urging the State and Federal governments to assist women veterans, support the establishment of a Veterans Court within the Hawaii State Circuit Court, urge the U.S. Congress to support the immediate repeal of combat exclusionary rules, and reinforce Hawaii’s congressional delegation in support of the establishment of the National Women’s History Museum.

A list of the bills and resolutions can be found here: Women’s Legislative Caucus

Critical Action Needed to Address Hawaii County Health Services

Briefing Serves as Springboard for Legislators and Island’s Health Leadership to Address Urgent Policy Priorities

The critical importance of improving the availability of healthcare services in Hawaii County – now and in the future – was brought home to state legislators at a recent discussion of health problems, solutions and policy priorities for 2012 sponsored by the Hawaii Island Healthcare Alliance. “Poor access to care just because you live on the Big Island is simply not acceptable,” said one community member.

About 45 health stakeholders met at Tutu’s House in Kamuela on Dec. 7th with Big Island legislators, Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Cindy Evans and Governor’s liaison John Buckstead to discuss how to align efforts to improve Hawaii Island health & healthcare. The briefing focused on the Alliance’s three policy priorities: state funding for the UH Family Medicine Residency program in Hilo, funding hospital capital requirements, and improvements to allow Health Information Exchange (HIE), specifically the harmonization of state and federal regulations.

Hawaii Island has the state’s greatest shortage of primary care physicians, physicians’ assistants, and nurse practitioners, equating to 33 percent fewer than needed to adequately care for the population, according to a presentation by Kelley Withy, MD, PhD, author of the Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Area Health Education Center. Withy also noted, “This shortage is projected to double by the year 2020, resulting in the island having more than 330 fewer physicians than needed to serve the population.”

“This provider shortage reduces access to healthcare on our island and is associated with higher death rates, lower life expectancy and higher hospital costs,” said Alliance Chair Sharon Vitousek, MD. One of the Alliance’s top priorities to address these disparities is to grow primary care providers through the UH Family Medicine Residency Program on Hawaii Island. Vitousek emphasized the economic as well as health benefits of this strategy. “These Health workforce shortages are in the bigger context of large economic disparities on our island. The provider shortages are in part a result of a poorer rural  economy with higher unemployment and higher uninsured and underinsured on Hawaii Island. But more importantly, since  health providers (hospitals and clinics) are the largest employers in many of our communities, stimulating the health economy through growth of the health workforce would also stimulate economic development and grow jobs on our island.”

Rep. Cindy Evans praised the Alliance for its leadership in uniting the healthcare community. “Our healthcare system is the sum of its parts,” she noted. “Having the Alliance represent agreement on priorities for the Big Island will help us better utilize our resources. We need solutions that will take us into the future, not just temporary fixes.”

Stakeholders agreed that funding of the UH Family Medicine Residency Program represents the most viable option for reversing the primary care provider shortage. Boyd Murayama, Assistant Administrator at Hilo Medical Center, which operates the Hawaii Island Family Health Center (the planned site of the Family Medicine Residency Program), noted that more than 90 students from the UH Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing have rotated through the center this year. The program recently hit a key milestone with the arrival this month of a Program Director. The next milestones are the application for accreditation in 2012 and then Family Medicine Residents will start in 2014. “This will add four new Family Medicine doctors to our island every year thereafter” said Murayama, who has had extensive experience with medical group development at UCSF.

Following the meeting, Sen. Josh Green responded to this immediate need for funding the Residency Program by expediting Hilo Medical Center’s agreement with the State Department of Health to provide $200,000 in funding over 12 months to support the residency program in the next year. This funding enables the State to take advantage of matching funds from TriWest. David McIntyre, President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a strong financial supporter of the Hilo Residency program, has indicated that TriWest’s donations were “designed to ensure access to care for its customers, the Coast Guard and the Army and Air Guard units in Hilo. And, TriWest is pleased that the initiative contributes to improving access to care on the Big Island.” The approximately $2 million TriWest donation is contingent on an ongoing state match of funds for the Residency Program.

Building the primary care workforce is a pillar of the Alliance’s mission. “There is compelling evidence that health care  outcomes and costs in the United States are strongly linked to the availability of primary care physicians. For each incremental primary care physician, there are 1.44 fewer deaths per 10,000 persons,” said Chip Hixon, MD, Department Chair of Family Medicine and Community Health, JABSOM. “Patients with a regular primary care physician have lower overall health care costs than those without one.”

“The current effort to launch the Family Medicine Residency program in Hilo is substantially stronger than the previous effort in the 90s,” said Neal Palafox MD of the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine. “The current effort has better planning, more partners, better funding, better revenue maximization, better leadership and most importantly stronger community support.”

Hawaii Medical Association Director and Alliance member, Dr. Chris Flanders also voiced strong support for the Hilo  Residency program as a key strategy to improve access for the Big Island.

In addressing the Alliance’s HIE priorities, Susan B. Hunt, MHA, Beacon Grant Project Director and CEO, Hawaii Island  Beacon Community, explained that Hawaii Island has the funding, the tools, the relationships and the motivation to build an extraordinary system of health information exchange thanks to the Beacon Cooperative Agreement.

“We need the support of the legislature to ensure that we have laws that provide an adequate level of protection of personal health information, while also allowing this information to flow in a timely and useable manner to improve quality of care and to improve the health of our population while reducing the overall cost of care delivery,” she said.

Jay Kreuzer, HHSC West Hawaii Regional CEO echoed Hunt’s comments, “We have an unprecedented opportunity with the Beacon community that will move our island forward while we address Hawaii’s provider shortage, upgrading facilities and equipment, and implementing new clinical and system technologies.”

Dan Domizio, a Physician’s Assistant, Alliance member and director of the Puna Community Health Center shared progress improving access in Puna through effective use of Physician’s Assistants which has helped save costs by reducing Emergency Room visits. Domizio urged the legislators to support reducing administrative barriers to effective use of mid-level providers.

About the Hawaii Island Healthcare Alliance

The Alliance members include providers, insurers, businesses, policymakers, educators, and government, labor and community leaders.

The briefing’s presentation is available at hawaiihealthcarealliance.org/policymakers (see Building a Healthier Hawaii Island Together – December 2011). The vision of the Hawaii Island Healthcare Alliance is that Hawaii Island residents lead healthy and productive lives and have access to quality healthcare. The mission of the Alliance is to develop dialogue and promote consensus agreements and recommendations for improving access to and the quality of healthcare services on Hawaii Island.

Members include: providers, insurance, business, policymakers, educators, and government, labor and community leaders. The collaborative islandwide effort attempts to leverage community, state and national resources through an inclusive process that is open and transparent. The Hawaii Island Healthcare Alliance fiscal sponsor is Friends of the Future, a 501(c) (3) organization. The website is www.hawaiihealthcarealliance.org

Women’s Legislative Caucus to Unveil 2011 Legislative Package

Media Release:

The Women’s Legislative Caucus of the Hawaii State Legislature will unveil their package of proposed bills for the 2011 session on Thursday, January 27, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., in Room 423 at the Hawaii State Capitol.  The 15 bills and five resolutions are in the priority areas of crime, corrections, healthcare, domestic abuse, and political action.  Descriptions of the proposals are listed below.

The package this year is dedicated to Dr. Tricia Wright, Founder of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii (PATH) program and clinic. Dr. Wright is an Assistant Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.  PATH works with high-risk, pregnant women including those who have unintended pregnancies, those who smoke during pregnancy, and women who binge drink or are obese prior to pregnancy.

The members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus are:

Representatives: Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Rida Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne Ching, Cindy Evans, Faye Hanohano, Sharon Har, Linda Ichiyama, Georgette “Jo” Jordan, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, Hermina Morita, Kymberly Pine, Cynthia Thielen, Jessica Wooley.

Senators: Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Pohai Ryan, Maile Shimabukuro, Malama Solomon, Jill Tokuda.

BILLS (15)

RELATING TO CRIME

Sexual offenses against minors; statute of limitations: Eliminates the statue of limitations for civil actions brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as a minor.  (SEN. SHIMABUKURO)

RELATING TO LIMITATION OF ACTIONS

Parental responsibility and liability: Creates the misdemeanor offense of inadequate supervision of a minor for a parent or legal guardian who fails to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection or control over their minor child.  (SEN. SHIMABUKURO)

RELATING TO HEALTHCARE

Compassionate care: Emergency contraception in the ER.  Requires hospitals and providers of emergency medical care to provide survivors of sexual assault with medically and factually accurate unbiased information regarding emergency contraception about sexual assault treatment options and access to emergency contraception.  (REP. M. LEE, REP. MORITA)

RELATING TO CORRECTIONS

Pregnant inmates; prohibit shackling: Prohibits physically restraining pregnant inmates, unless extraordinary circumstances exist (i.e. prevention, escaping or injuring herself or others.)  (REP. M. LEE)

RELATING TO AN AUTOMATED VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

Requires department of public safety to establish a statewide automated victim notification system providing crime victims with current information regarding the offender’s custodial status.  (REP. M. LEE, REP. THIELEN)

RELATING TO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

Amends the sex offender registration law to include violation of privacy offenses, including voyeurism.  Requires registration for offenders subject to sex offender registration or notification in their jurisdiction of conviction. Repeals obsolete or unnecessary provisions. Creates a tier classification for covered offenses that are not expressed classified.  (REP. M. LEE)

PATH CLINIC APPROPRIATION

Appropriates moneys for the continued operation of the Perinatal Addiction Treatment of Hawaii program and clinic.  (REP. M. LEE)

RELATING TO DOMESTIC ABUSE ORDERS

Allows a temporary restraining order to remain in effect for 90 days or until service of a protective order, whichever occurs first.  Also amends law to provide that protective orders orally stated by the court on the record shall be effective upon service on the respondent.   (SEN. TOKUDA, SEN. KIDANI)

RELATING TO LUPUS

Requires the director of the health to establish a working group to develop a plan to increase education and awareness of lupus.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO CRIME

Removes statute of limitations for prosecution of rape cases.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO PROSTITUTION

Provides that the county may impound vehicles used in the commission of street prostitution in specified zones as established by the counties.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO DNA COLLECTION FOR VIOLENT CRIMES

Requires DNA collection from those arrested on violent felony charges.  While all states require DNA collection for felony convictions, most states have begun considering bills to require collection for felony arrests.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO THE COLLECTION OF DNA SAMPLES FROM ARRESTEES OF SEXUAL OFFENSES AGAINST MINORS

Mandates the collection of DNA samples from arrestee for sex offenses against minors. Effective July 1, 2012.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

Employment practices: domestic violence. Prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment based upon the employee’s or the applicant’s status as a victim of domestic violence.  (SEN. BAKER)

COMMUNITY BASED REINTEGRATION PROGRAM

Requires Department of Public Safety to develop a plan to use current funding resources to improve community based programs to assist female offender’s transition back into the community.  (REP. HANOHANO)

RESOLUTIONS (5)

DECLARING THE MONTH OF MAY AS LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH IN HAWAII

While lupus can occur in men, ninety percent of the sufferers are women in their childbearing years, particularly affecting Native Hawaiian women, Pacific Island women and women of Asian descent.  People with lupus have many different symptoms, but the most common are fatigue, muscle and joint pain, skin disorders, inflammation of internal organs and inflammation of the vascular and nervous systems.  (REP. MARUMOTO)

REQUESTING THE HAWAII MEDICAL BOARD, BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST PROGRAM, AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR PROGRAM TO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL TO PRINT, DISPLAY, AND MAKE AVAILABLETO PATIENTS INFORMING THEM OF THE APPLICABLE ETHICAL STANDARDS RELATING TO SEXUAL BOUNDARIES IN THE PROVIDER-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

(REP. MARUMOTO)

ENCOURAGING THE JOHN A. BURNS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE SCHOOL OF NURSING AND DENTAL HYGIENE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII TO INCLUDE BREASTFEEDING IN EDUCATIONAL CURRICULUM TO EDUCATE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO ADVOCATE AND PROMOTE BREASTFEEDING AMONG EXPECTANT MOTHERS

Human breast milk is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses, including diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide.   (REP. THIELEN)

REQUESTING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON WHETHER THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF HAWAII’S SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE BEING MET AND WHETHER SEX OFFENDER LAWS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED IN THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED

In 1996, the federal government enacted what has become known as “Megan’s Law,” requiring states to collect and release relevant information necessary to protect the public from sexual offenders.   (REP. THIELEN)

RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO REACH OUT TO HAWAII WOMEN AND ENGAGE THEM IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS

(Patsy Mink PAC) The legislature is requested to encourage women of Hawaii to actively play an important leadership role in planning and execution of legislative priorities.   (REP. ICHIYAMA)

Video Clips From the August 21st, Public Hearing on the Shoreline Access

Media Release:

Senator Josh Green, and Representatives Denny Coffman and Cindy Evans knew they had to respond to the public outcry over the closure of the public access road along the coast that leads to the Kohanaiki Beach area.

Little did they know the extent of the publics unrest. Thousands of signatures were gathered in a matter of weeks, and hundreds showed up in person to let their representatives know, that either NELHA opens the gate, or the people would open it themselves.

Some of the people wanted to go down that night and open it, others suggested the next day, everybody agreed that if it was not open in a 30 day period, it would be time to act.

Ron Baird, the CEO of NELHA, has given a number of reasons for closing the gate, but none of them really seem to hold water, adn none of them seem to justify the manner in how it was done.

Giving just two weeks notice, Baird ordered that the gate be locked for good.

It is the general sentiment that he should not onlly open the gate, but resign.

Needless to say the public is upset, and unruly to say the least. 30 days seems like the longest people will wait for NELHA to respnd.

A lot of credit most be given to Josh Green for holding this informal meeting to gather information. The Senator and two Representatives took a lot of heat from the public, who sometimes blamed them for the gate being locked. The truth of the matter, is that they were there to gather information to find a remedy.

That remedy appears to be to open the gate, restore access, and replace Baird with someone who has more respect for the residents that call Kohanaiki their second home.

Big Island Live broadcast the whole meeting live, and is playing reruns periodically. This is a short edited version of a two and a half hour public outcry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zdyzk36NLQ&hl=en&fs=1&]