10 Ideas that Could Improve Life in Hawaii
News Release from House Republican Caucus January 15, 2016
HONOLULU – Today, the House Republican Caucus released a list of its priorities for the upcoming session, including measures that will be part of their caucus package to be released next week:
1. Lower income taxes for middle & low income earners.
Reduce income tax rates by 25% for all but top income earners. Reduce income tax liabilities by 50% for taxpayers when their adjusted gross income falls between 100-125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Increase the maximum value of the low-income household renter's credit and adjust income thresholds for inflation.
2. Increase the purchasing power of working families.
Establish a refundable state earned income tax credit.
3. Provide general excise tax relief.
Remove the GET on rental subsidy payments for Section 8, Housing First programs, food, and medicine.
4. Support displaced local workers.
Provide reduced tuition at community colleges to people impacted by a major business closure or mass layoff.
5. Improve state hospital care for individuals diagnosed with mental illness.
Obtain a forensic care designation or accreditation for the Hawaii State Hospital to provide effective care and longer lasting results.
6. Encourage private development of affordable housing.
Remove the cap and create a base minimum for monies deposited into the Rental Housing Revolving Fund.
7. Expand options for construction of affordable units.
Allow single room occupancy homes with common facilities, such as kitchens.
8. Implement increased security measures for state facilities, including schools.
Require the governor to create and implement security plans for state facilities, including schools, deemed "high risk." Allow re-employment for retired police officers, National Guard veterans, and other state/city public safety workers to work as safety and security officers at state schools and buildings while continuing to collect retirement benefits.
9. Provide school principals with increased flexibility.
Improve flexibility for public school principals by increasing the cap on money that principals can carry-over from year to year. Provide principals with more flexibility to make improvements to their schools and to direct capital improvement projects, including installation of solar energy systems.
10. Help Hawaii's public schools meet their energy needs.
Provide a solar energy system tax credit to help schools finance on-grid and off-grid solar air-conditioning systems.
The House Minority Caucus is comprised of Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto Chang, Minority Floor Leader Feki Pouha, Minority Leader Emeritus Rep. Gene Ward, Minority Whip Rep. Lauren Cheape Matsumoto, Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Bob McDermott, and Assistant Minority Floor Leader Rep. Cynthia Thielen, and Minority Policy Leader Andria P.L. Tupola.