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Saturday, April 21, 2018
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 3:11 PM :: 5066 Views :: Family, Life

Weekly Recap

From Hawaii Family Forum, April 20, 2018

Bill Status to Date

Conference Committee Members Assigned

HB2169 (youth suicide prevention bill  for Maui County) is headed to conference committee.

  • House Conferees Appointed: Mizuno, Kobayashi Co-Chairs; Learmont, Tupola.
  • Senate Conferees Appointed: Baker Chair; Kidani Co-Chair; Nishihara.
  • Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-23-18 9:30AM in conference room 229.​​​​​​​

SB270 (the therapy ban bill) is headed to conference committee to work out disagreement.  The legislative members have been appointed: 

  • House Conferees Appointed: Takumi, Nishimoto, Luke Co-Chairs; Thielen.
  • Senate Conferees Appointed: Baker Chair; S. Chang, Tokuda.

HB2277 (the pilot project bill for the Big Island Child Welfare Services) is headed to conference committee.

  • House Conferees Appointed: Mizuno, Todd Co-Chairs; Learmont, Nakashima, Tupola.
  • Senate Conferees Appointed: Green Chair; Shimabukuro, S. Chang Co-Chairs; Wakai.
  • Bill scheduled for Conference Committee Meeting on Monday, 04-23-18 10:30AM in conference room 325.

Upcoming Legislative Dates:

APR 23  SECOND CROSSOVER FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS - Deadline for passing amended concurrent resolutions in the non-originating chamber in order to "cross back" to the originating chamber.

APR 26  FINAL DECKING OF NON-FISCAL BILLS - Deadline for submitting non-fiscal bills for final reading by both chambers. 

APR 27  FINAL DECKING OF FISCAL BILLS - Deadline for submitting fiscal bills for final reading by both chambers. Fiscal bills include appropriation or spending bills, tax credits, etc., or any bill with a House Finance or Senate Ways and Means referral.

MAY 3  ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE - In Latin, "sine die" means "without a day specified for future meeting." Adjournment sine die occurs on the 60th legislative day of a Regular Session, and indicates a suspension of the business of the legislature indefinitely. Next, the Legislature will certify the bills whose form both chambers have agreed to, and will transmit or "enroll" those bills to the Governor. Contact PAR for information regarding the Governor's deadlines.

Hawaii State Economic Outlook Rank: Not Good

Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is a comprehensive report that ranks the economic competitiveness of states using fifteen equally weighted policy variables. Published annually by the American Legislative Exchange Council Center for State Fiscal Reform, Rich States, Poor States is used by state lawmakers across America to make critical policy decisions that protect hardworking taxpayers.

The recent report ranks Hawaii poorly with some very concerning numbers:

  • Ranked 50 in estate/inheritance tax
  • Ranked 50 in sales tax burden
  • Ranked 48 in remaining tax burden
  • Ranked 48 in top marginal personal income tax
  • Overall Hawaii is 45 in economic outlook
  • Hawaii is ranked 21 in overall economic performance

From Around the Nation

What is Comfort Care?

Inquiries have been coming in to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization asking for an explanation of what is included in Comfort Care.

(Alexandria, Va) - It has been widely reported in a statement from the Bush family that former First Lady Barbara Bush has decided to forgo further hospitalizations and curative-focused medical treatments and has chosen to receive comfort care. Questions have come in to NHPCO asking for further details about what makes up comfort care.

Comfort Care refers to care plan for the patient that is focused on symptom control, pain relief, and quality of life. Often support is provided to family members to help them understand the care plan and to address needs and concerns they might have.

There are different forms of comfort care. Two of the best known are hospice and palliative care.

Under hospice care, a person receives medical care as well as emotional, psycho-social, and spiritual care delivered by an Interdisciplinary team of professionals that includes a physician, nurse, social worker, allied therapists, counselors, home health aides, spiritual and grief support and trained volunteers. Each person's care plan would be tailored to his or her specific needs with some patients requiring services that others might not need.

Palliative care means patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information, and choice.

"Under the philosophy of hospice and palliative care, the goal is care and not cure," said Edo Banach, President and CEO of NHPCO. "The same principles would apply to comfort care."

Under the Medicare hospice benefit, a person must have a prognosis of six months or less within the doctor's best estimation; however, hospice can be provided for as long as the patient needs it and is not limited to six months. Palliative care provides care and services without the required six month prognosis and can be provided alongside curative or life-prolonging treatment.

Hospice care serves people coping with cancer, dementia, heart disease, COPD, renal disease and other illnesses. The majority of hospice care is provided in the home, yet hospice care also is provided in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-patient settings.

Comfort care would reflect the principles of hospice and palliative care, specifically designed to meet the needs of the individual patient and family caregivers. Hospice care provides the most comprehensive array of covered services.

In the U.S., hospice organizations are the primary providers of community-based palliative care and comfort care services.

"If a family is struggling with a serious or life-limiting illness, it is never too early to reach out to your local hospice and ask about care they offer and if it might be right for a loved one," Banach said.

While more than 1.5 million patients avail themselves of hospice care every year, nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries received care for seven days or less, which hospice professionals consider too short a time to fully take advantage of all that hospice offers.

"One of the biggest misconceptions about hospice is that it's giving up," said Lori Bishop, NHPCO Vice President of Palliative and Advanced Care. "Hospice provides high-quality care and support to the whole person and to family caregivers with the goal of quality of life."

"It seems appropriate to share this information on April 16, National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day of national outreach to raise awareness of the importance of talking about one's health care wishes and taking steps to share those preferences," noted Banach.

Learn more about hospice and palliative care at NHPCO's


Contact: Jon Radulovic

Vice President, Communications

Ph: 703-837-3139

NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit leadership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. NHPCO's mission is to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life.




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