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Wednesday, March 5, 2014
House Votes to Move Another 183 Bills to Senate
By News Release @ 10:33 PM :: 2315 Views :: Hawaii State Government

House Votes to Move Another 183 Bills to Senate

News Release from House Democratic Caucus March 4, 2014

As the crossover deadline approaches and after fourteen hours of deliberations, the House today passed on to the Senate another 183 bills including measures addressing the needs of women, consumers, veterans, and the homeless.  The House now stands in recess and will reconvene to take action on final measures for third reading on Thursday, March 6 at 12 p.m. To date, the House has approved more than 400 bills this session to the Senate for its consideration. The deadline for bills to be approved by both houses of the Legislature before they move from one chamber to the other for consideration is Thursday, March 6.

Among the measures passed by the House today are bills relating to:

HOMELESSNESS

HB1841 HD1, provides additional housing opportunities for homeless families and individuals by establishing the Hale Kokua Program under the Housing First Program within the Department of Human Services. The program encourages homeowners statewide to set aside dwelling units for rental by families or individuals classified as employed but homeless.

HAWAII COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

HB1866 HD2, provides for administrative appeal, judicial review, and intervention in HCDA development permit application proceedings. Amends requirements for notice, hearing, and approval, and clarifies vesting of rights for development permits. Amends HCDA membership and appointment. Requires provision of affordable housing within same district and permits sale of units. Requires legislative oversight of fiscal actions. Prohibits acquisition of public land by set aside. Creates height limit for Kakaako.

LABOR AND MINIMUM WAGE

HB2580 HD1, annually increases minimum wage from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2018. Annually increases the tip credit from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2017, if the gross amount the employee receives from wages and tips for a taxable year is at least 250 per cent of the poverty level as determined by the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations

THE HAWAII HEALTH CONNECTOR

HB2529 HD3, establishes greater transparency and oversight for the Hawaii Health Connector and provides for financial sustainability.

HB2581 HD3, appropriates funds for a state innovation waiver task force to develop a plan for applying for an innovation waiver under the federal Affordable Care Act.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

HB1070 HD2, requires the UH Board of Regents to complete annual training on regent fiduciary duties, Hawaii’s Sunshine Law, and Hawaii’s open records law.

EDUCATION

HB14 HD2, amends the compulsory education law to make kindergarten mandatory. Develops a statewide individualized kindergarten readiness system and, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, requires all public and charter schools to adopt the system.

HB2473 HD1, establishes an Education Innovation Grant Program to provide teachers with resources to implement innovation initiatives aimed at increasing student academic achievement.

HB1796 HD2, promotes the safety and well-being of students and school personnel by requiring the Board of Education and the Department of Education to establish conditions and procedures for the use of restraint or seclusion of students in public schools.

HB2276 HD1, establishes the Early Childhood Education Program within the Early Learning System  upon the ratification of a constitutional amendment permitting the appropriation of public funds for private early childhood education.

HB1596 HD1, appropriates funds to establish within the Department of Human Services a statewide literacy program to help increase Hawaii’s literacy rates and benefit Hawaii’s children and families.

HEALTH

HB2577 HD2, prohibits smoking anywhere in a public housing project except in a designated smoking area as a condition of any agreement for the occupancy or use of premises within a public housing project. Authorizes the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to adopt rules to implement the smoking ban and the designated smoking areas.

HB2109 HD2, funds an evidence-based physical activity and nutritional education program within the A+ Program in Hawaii's public elementary schools.

HB1503 HD1, voids any rental agreement provision that allows for eviction of a tenant for using medical marijuana unless the agreement allows for eviction for smoking tobacco and the medical marijuana is smoked.

AGRICULTURE

HB2011 HD1, gives the Agribusiness Development Corporation additional means to move Hawaii closer to food sustainability and self-sufficiency through various measures, including authorizing the Corporation to issue up to an unspecified amount of revenue bonds to acquire specified agricultural lands.

HB1120 HD2, requires the Office of Planning to study current and potential alternative systems of classifying and regulating agricultural land and to submit interim and final reports to the Legislature to better assist in developing land use and agricultural policies.

HB1184 HD2, requires the Department of Agriculture to develop a food sustainability standard to promote local food production to help diversify the local economy.

HB1929 HD2, defines the term "farmers' market" and exempts produce that is sold at farmers' markets for human consumption within the State from the general excise tax.

HB2008 HD1, appropriates funds to the Department of Education to operate and implement the Future Farmers of America Program.

HB1988 HD2, establishes the Hawaii Farm to School Program and Farm to School Coordinator position.

HB2178 HD2, establishes within the Livestock Revitalization Program of the Department of Agriculture a program to provide grants to qualified feed developers.

INVASIVE SPECIES

HB1514 HD1, appropriates funds for mitigation of, and education relating to, the coffee berry borer beetle.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

HB2203 HD2, allows for the dual use of solar energy facilities on agricultural lands provided that a special use permit is obtained, the solar energy site can also accommodate compatible agricultural activities at a lease rate that is at least 50 percent below fair market value, and the facilities are removed within 12 months after operations end.

HB2101 HD1, deposits a percentage of conveyance tax revenue annually into the Kahoolawe rehabilitation trust fund for the long-term rehabilitation of Kahoolawe and maintenance of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve, with a maximum amount of $3.5 million.

HB2434 HD2, allows for a portion of the Transient Accommodations Tax funds to be allocated to the Special Land and Development Fund for protection, preservation, management and enhancement of natural resource and facilities important to the State’s visitor industry such as beaches, parks, trails, and historic and cultural sites.

HB1902 HD2, requires DLNR to make reasonable efforts to prevent and mitigate the loss, destruction, or degradation of public hunting areas, and establishes a hunting advisory commission. Requires DLNR to report to the legislature regarding public hunting lands.

HB1894 HD2, enables the operation of car-sharing companies which represents a green transportation innovation that can significantly reduce miles traveled, oil imports, greenhouse gases, and household transportation costs, in the state by creating a car-sharing vehicle surcharge tax.

HB2312 HD2, increases the amount of the current barrel tax that shall be deposited into the Environmental Response Revolving Fund for chemical leakage response, hazardous environmental disaster response and environmental clean ups.

HB2621 HD2, seeks to provide greater accountability in government by requiring the Procurement Policy Board to adopt rules to include time limits on the reporting of missing or unsuitable property, and requires cooperation between government agencies and their contractors in such investigations. This measure was introduced to address communication problems between government entities and contractors that were identified in the aftermath of recent environmental disasters such as the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor.

TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

HB2169 HD1, encourages owners and operators of a hotel or resort to initiate construction or renovation to improve their physical facilities by providing a tax credit based on a percentage of wages paid to certain new employees hired following construction or renovation.

HB1594 HD2, seeks to boost the State’s tourism and construction industries by providing a taxpayer constructing or renovating a qualified hotel facility with a nonrefundable income tax credit for certain incurred construction or renovation costs.

HB2170 HD2, supports Hawaii’s hotel construction industry by creating an income tax credit, with pre-certification of the credit, for costs incurred in new hotel construction.

HB2626 HD2, promotes manufacturing in the State by establishing a temporary nonrefundable income tax credit for qualified manufacturing costs, as a means of diversifying the economy, decreasing dependence on imported goods, keeping more dollars within the state and strengthening made in Hawaii products.

PUBLIC SAFETY

HB1975 HD1, allows State and counties to perform criminal history record checks on employees, prospective employees, volunteers, and contractors who work with children, have contact with vulnerable adults, have unescorted access to secured areas related to a traffic management center, handle or use firearms for other than law enforcement purposes, or work with an agency's information technology operation and have access to sensitive information.

HB2243 HD1, allows qualified entities to conduct state and national fingerprint-based criminal history record checks on their applicants, employees and volunteers who provide care for children, vulnerable adults or the disabled, and to receive the results directly.

HB1509 HD1, makes operating a motor vehicle in the State while using a mobile device a traffic infraction. Specifies that the penalty for such an infraction shall be a fine of not less than $250, rather than court appearance.

HD1750 HD1, makes it a criminal offense to unlawfully distribute sexual representation and prohibits the unconsented reproduction, distribution, exhibition, publication, transmission, or other dissemination of a representation of a nude person or of a person engaging in sexual conduct.

ELECTIONS AND PUBLIC OFFICE

HB2533 HD2, creates a public funding program for elections to the State House of Representatives. Modeled after a pilot program for Hawaii County elections, the bill is intended to encourage increased public interest and encourage fair elections for candidates without access to financial capital.

HB2408 HD1, requires the arrangement of candidate names on ballots in alphabetical order by last name, beginning with a letter randomly selected by the Chief Election Officer to provide a consist and fair ballot design for all state and local elections.

HURRICANE RESERVE TRUST FUND AND FINANCIAL STABILITY

HB2280 HD1, appropriates general funds for fiscal year 2014‑2015 to recapitalize the Hurricane Reserve Trust Fund.

LOW-INCOME ASSISTANCE

HB1719 HD1, reduces the tax liability for low-income taxpayers by creating a tax credit that will eliminate a taxpayer's income tax liability if their federal adjusted gross income falls below federal poverty guidelines. Reduces a taxpayer's income tax liability by 50% if the taxpayer's federal adjusted gross income falls between 100-125% of federal poverty guidelines.

INTERNET SALES

HB1651 HD1, requires the collection of use taxes by out-of-state sellers of tangible personal property who are deemed to be “engaged in businesses in the state” including by entering into an agreement with a person in the State who refers potential purchasers to the seller, including by an internet link or web site, or performs related services in the State on behalf of the seller, from purchasers in the State (unless preempted by federal law).

HB2507 HD1, authorizes the Department of Taxation to establish administrative rules, as an alternative to the federal Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, for the development and simplification of procedures necessary to collect and remit sales and use taxes derived from remote sales with outside businesses having no tangible presence within the State, including sales from the Internet.

HB2135 HD1, amends Hawaii’s tax structure and administration, including the creation an oversight committee to facilitate implementation to bring the State into compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. These changes will help facilitate the collection and remittance of taxes derived from remote sales with out-of-state businesses, having no tangible presence in the State. These tax charges, while technically owed to the State, are virtually impossible to calculate, collect and enforce under current law.

VETERANS

HB1564 HD1, recognizes the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and honors their memory by ensuring that the statewide network of veterans’ cemeteries is properly maintained. Specifically, requires the counties to obtain approval from the office of veterans' services prior to any action that may impact the State's obligation to establish and maintain veterans’ cemeteries.

HB1772 HD1, increases access to quality health care for veterans by exempting, from the General Excise Tax, amounts received by a contractor of the Patient-Centered Community Care Program established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for costs associated with health care provided to veterans outside of the Veterans Affairs system.

HB1667 HD3, exempts qualifying totally and permanently disabled veterans from paying the state motor vehicle registration fee.

HB1907 HD1, establishes a lifetime hunting license for qualified disabled veterans and veterans who have received a purple heart.

WOMEN

HB2034 HD2, provides victims of sexual assault with additional time to engage with the legal system by eliminating the statute of limitations for criminal and civil actions arising from sexual assault in the first and second degrees and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14.

OTHERS

HB2459 HD2, requires any dentist who prescribes or administers general anesthesia, intravenous-conscious sedation, or conscious sedation to obtain the necessary authorizations issued by the Board of Dental Examiners. Requires site certification for locations where specified anesthesia is prescribed or administered.

HB1812 HD1, requires additional detail and updating for annual reports to the Legislature of police misconduct; requires retention of disciplinary records for at least 18 months after reporting; permits disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of misconduct by a police officer that results in a suspension.

HB2573 HD1, designates the ukulele as the official musical string instrument of the State.

HIGHLIGHTS OF BILLS PREVIOUSLY PASSED BY THE HOUSE

In addition, House members previously passed more than 200 bills, including HB1671 HD1, which removes the $93 million cap on the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) allocation to the counties and, instead, establishes the distribution of these revenues as a percentage of the TAT collected.

As part of the joint Senate-House majority package, the House also previously passed HB1713, which provides financial support to healthy aging programs and services, and requires the Executive Office on Aging to conduct a public education and awareness campaign on long-term care;

HB1715 HD1 which appropriates funds for educational outreach targeted to protect seniors from financial fraud; andHB1714 HD1, which addresses climate changes by tasking the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) with creating sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation reports.

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