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Senate: Bills on Ige's Desk 'Support our Priorities'
By News Release @ 3:35 PM :: 1245 Views :: Hawaii State Government

Legislature Passes Bills Supporting Senate Priorities in a Historic Legislative Session

News Release from Hawaii State Senate Democratic Caucus, May 13, 2022

On May 5, 2022, the Hawai‘i State Senate adjourned sine die after taking strong action on several of its priority areas, including agriculture, housing, economic recovery, education, and health.

Prior to the start of the 2022 Legislative Session, Senate Majority Leader Dru Mamo Kanuha (District 3 – Kona and Kaʻū) convened a Full Senate Caucus with all 25 members of the Senate to identify and discuss legislative priorities aimed to improve the quality of life for all residents in Hawai‘i.

“As a legislative body, the Senate worked diligently during the 2021 interim to identify key issues that were critical to address and long overdue,” said Majority Leader Kanuha. “With a surplus of federal funding for education and higher education, we were provided a unique opportunity to tackle long-standing issues while also delivering real relief to communities in need. I admire the hard work by our Senate Committee Chairs and Members that have accomplished this arduous task.”

One of the most noteworthy bills passed this session is the State Budget – HB1600 HD1 SD2 CD1 – which includes $8.7 billion in general funds and $16.9 billion in all methods of funding for FY23. This year’s budget also provides $6 billion in capital improvement project (CIP) funding for FY22 and FY23, as well as $48.9 million in grants-in-aid (GIA) for various projects.

Included in the budget is $48,718,494 for the Department of Education to provide training, retention, and recruitment for educators and to expand programs, upgrade technology, and provide classroom materials such as school supplies; $35,285,573 to the Department of Agriculture to maintain public lands, bolster agricultural exports, and address invasive species; $56,351,362 to the Department of Human Services for rental assistance, social work, childcare, and more; and $72,602,881 to the Department of Health to strengthen our public health system, among many other key appropriations.

In addition to the budget, the following Senate priorities passed during the 2022 Legislative Session:

Housing and Real Estate Development

SB206 SD2 HD1 CD1 prohibits discrimination, including in advertisements for rental property, in rental transactions based on participation in a section 8 housing choice program or any permanent supportive housing program or requirements related to participation in these housing assistance programs. Requires the Hawaii Public Housing Authority and the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission to provide informational materials.

SB2251 SD2 HD2 CD1 allows the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to develop mixed-income and mixed-financed housing projects. Prohibits the development or construction of housing projects on ceded land that is vacant on or after 1/1/2022.

SB2588 SD1 HD1 CD1 appropriates funds to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority for the rehabilitation, remodeling, renovation, and repair of housing units.

HB1752 HD3 SD1 CD1 establishes the housing choice voucher landlord incentive program. Requires HPHA to adopt rules without regard to chapter 91, HRS, to establish specified incentives for landlords who participate in the tenant-based assistance housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. Requires HPHA to adopt or amend rules no later than 7/1/2023 to establish a maximum of fifteen days after receipt of an owner’s or landlord’s inspection request as a reasonable time within which to inspect a dwelling unit for lease under the section 8 housing choice voucher program. Appropriates funds.

HB2233 HD1 SD2 authorizes the Department of Human Services to provide additional housing assistance subsidies of up to $500 per month to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Temporary Assistance for Other Needy Families (TAONF) program participants who are participating in the First-To-Work program.

Economic Recovery

SB2398 SD2 HD2 CD1 creates the Pulehunui community development district to allow for planning, development, and maintenance of public lands in Pulehunui, Maui. Amends the Hawaii community development authority membership to include the director of business, economic development, and tourism; chairperson of the board of land and natural resources; and director of the office of planning or planning and permitting of each county, or their respective designees, in which a community development district is located. Amends community representatives on each board from three to two at-large members. Establishes membership for quorum on matters related to the Pulehunui community development district.

SB2473 SD2 HD2 CD1 amends the focus, scope, responsibilities, and powers of the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC). Amends the definition of the term “agriculture” as the term relates to the ADC. Transfers the administrative attachment of the ADC from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Amends the requirements and responsibilities of the board of directors of the ADC. Amends the required contents of the Hawaii agribusiness plan. Appropriates moneys.

SB3243 SD1 HD1 repeals the definition of “industrial park” in chapter 206M, Hawaii Revised Statutes, regarding the Hawaii technology development corporation. Replaces all instances of “industrial park” with a newly defined term, “economic zone”, in that chapter. 

SB3334 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes the Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, or a designee of the director, as an ex-officio voting member of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Stadium Authority boards. Transfers the Stadium Authority from the Department of Accounting and General Services to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Amends the composition of the Stadium Authority. Amends the development guidance policies of the Stadium Authority. Reduces the amount of general obligation bonds that may be issued for the stadium development district.

HB1179 HD1 SD1 CD1 establishes a pilot program within the Aina Mauna legacy program of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to remove and harvest gorse from Mauna Kea and develop it as a marketable product to expand economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians. Requires reports to the legislature. Appropriates funds. Repeals 6/30/2026.

HB1983 HD1 SD2 CD1 establishes the state media industry development liaison to plan, develop, and execute a statewide media industry development strategy for purposes of establishing a collaborative media industry development program. Appropriates funds for the state media industry development liaison and an administrative assistant position.

HB2510 HD2 SD1 CD1 makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and permanent. Provides for carryforward of nonrefundable credits previously claimed. Incrementally increases the minimum wage and tip credit beginning on 10/1/2022.


SB2184 SD1 HD1 CD1 establishes a Digital Learning Center within the Department of Education. Appropriates funds to staff and administer the Digital Learning Center.

SB2821 SD2 HD1 CD1 requires the Department of Education to provide menstrual products free of charge to all students on all public school campuses.

SB2862 SD1 HD1 CD1 appropriates funds to the Department of Education to install air conditioning units for public school classrooms that have not received air conditioning units.

HB1561 HD1 SD2 CD1 establishes within the Department of Education a workforce readiness program to provide opportunities for students to earn associate degrees, workforce development diplomas, pre-apprenticeship certificates, and other industry-recognized certificates. Requires the department to designate schools, including adult community schools, to participate in the program.

HB1775 HD2 SD3 CD1 requires annual reporting by the University of Hawaii, Department of Education, and State Public Charter School Commission to the legislature on the number and types of Title IX cases and other relevant information. Appropriates funds to the Department of Education for equity training.

HB2000 HD1 SD1 CD1 appropriates funds to the school facilities authority to expand access to pre-kindergarten to eligible children.

HB2024 HD1 SD2 CD1 establishes the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority as the sole authority for the management of Mauna Kea lands. Requires the Authority to manage land uses; human activities, other uses, and access; stewardship; education; research; disposition; and overall operations on its respective lands. Authorizes the Authority to develop a framework to allow astronomy development on Mauna Kea. Declares astronomy as a state policy. Requires the Authority to establish advisory groups. Allows the Authority to limit certain commercial use and activities on Mauna Kea on its respective jurisdictional lands. Provides certain restrictions on leases and a moratorium on new leases. Requires the timely decommissioning of certain telescopes. Allows the Authority to require an application and fee for all recreational users of Mauna Kea. Establishes the Mauna Kea management special fund. Transfers rights, duties, and positions from the University of Hawaii to the Authority. Exempts positions under the Authority from civil service requirements. Requires an audit of the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority.

Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Food Security

SB2284 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes provisions relating to the Department of Agriculture’s governing of the business of aquaculture. Grants exclusive property rights to persons who lawfully obtain the cultured progeny of wild plants and animals by brood stock acquisition. Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to regulate the transportation, purchase, possession, and sale of specific aquaculture products as may be necessary to protect indigenous species. Requires the Department of Agriculture to prepare programmatic environmental impact reports and acquire land for aquacultural purposes.

SB2989 SD1 HD1 CD1 requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a Healthy Soils Program. Appropriates funds.

SB3197 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes a farmer apprentice mentoring program. Makes an appropriation to the Department of Agriculture to establish and implement the program. Appropriates funds.

HB871 HD1 SD1 CD1 authorizes the Department of Agriculture to plan, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair, demolish, and remove infrastructure on any lands under the jurisdiction of the department, to support and promote agriculture. Establishes the agricultural enterprise program. Requires the board of agriculture to annually report an accounting of non-agricultural park lessees to the legislature.

HB1568 HD2 SD2 CD1 requires the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Public Safety, Department of Defense, and University of Hawaii system to ensure that a certain percentage of food purchased for public schools, youth campuses, public hospitals, public prisons, and University of Hawaii system academic programs consists of fresh, local agricultural products or local value-added, processed, agricultural, or food products. Requires each of those departments and the University of Hawaii system to annually report to the legislature on progress made toward meeting these benchmarks and clarifies the information to be reported.


SB2624 SD2 HD2 CD1 requires the Department of Health to implement a telehealth pilot project and publish an evaluation report on the telehealth pilot project outcomes. Requires the Department to implement and administer a rural health care pilot project to provide physicians and nurse practitioners serving selected rural areas with an availability fee and reimbursements for certain expenses and submit to the Legislature an evaluation report on the rural health care pilot project outcomes. Appropriates funds to support the pilot projects.

SB3236 SD2 HD1 CD1 appropriates funds to provide enhanced payments to state-licensed skilled nursing facilities, community care foster family homes, and expanded adult residential care homes that are caring for Medicaid patients; provided that the Department of Human Services shall obtain the maximum amount of federal matching funds available for this expenditure.  

HB1798 HD1 SD2 CD1 authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenues bonds to assist The Queen’s Health Systems for the financing of costs related to the construction of, improvement to, and equipping of health care facilities.

HB1980 HD2 SD2 CD1 permits, but does not require or prohibit, Medicaid, health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to cover telephonic behavioral health services under certain circumstances. Clarifies that telephonic services do not constitute telehealth.

Business, Communications Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Energy

SB2076 SD2 HD3 CD1 requires University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office (Office) to convene a working group to determine the appropriate governance structure to operate, maintain, and oversee broadband assets. Appropriates funds for three full-time positions for the Office and a statewide broadband initiative to be administered by the University of Hawaii.

SB2474 SD2 HD1 CD1 requires the Public Utilities Commission to contract with a qualified consultant conduct a study on the accessibility of Hawaii’s electric system and procedures for interconnection to Hawaii’s electric system. Requires a report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2023. Appropriates funds.

SB2479 HD1 CD1 requires each public housing project and state low-income housing project that is built or reconstructed after 1/1/2023, to include all broadband infrastructure necessary for tenants to have access to broadband service.

SB2510 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes a state energy policy that requires at least 33.33 per cent of renewable energy to be generated by firm renewable energy. Establishes requirements for the State to maintain a diversified renewable energy portfolio. Amends statutory provisions to achieve firm renewable energy generation for each island. Excepts geothermal energy production from limitations on energy production from a single renewable energy source. Prohibits fossil fuel generation after December 31, 2045, except in circumstances where unavailability of renewable fuels would require limited use of fossil fuels to maintain grid reliability. Requires the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development to update the energy state functional plan. Requires the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to conduct a study on the minimum percentage of firm renewable energy. Appropriates funds.

SB2808 SD1 HD1 CD1 appropriates funds to the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation for the State Small Business Credit Initiative Program.

Public Safety and Law Enforcement

SB2637 SD1 HD2 CD1 mandates that there be a community-based work furlough program for incarcerated women in the State. Appropriates funds.

SB3142 SD1 HD1 CD1 amends the title of chapter 386, part V, subpart C, HRS, to add reserve public safety law enforcement officers, and amends section 386-181, HRS, to include reserve public safety law enforcement officers to the list of volunteer occupations covered under the workers’ compensation law. Allows reserve public safety law enforcement officers who are injured under the conditions specified in section 386-3, HRS, to receive workers’ compensation. Adds reserve public safety law enforcement officers to the list of volunteers who are covered under the conditions for computing average weekly wages. 

HB2171 HD2 SD1 CD1 establishes a Department of Law Enforcement to consolidate and administer criminal law enforcement and investigations functions of the State effective upon approval and reestablishes the Department of Public Safety as an independent Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to administer the corrections, rehabilitation, and reentry of the inmate population effective 1/1/2024. Transfers the law enforcement functions of the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Law Enforcement effective 1/1/2024, and the law enforcement functions of the Department of Transportation, the non-statutorily mandated functions of the investigations division of the Department of the Attorney General, and the Office of Homeland Security to the Department of Law Enforcement effective 1/1/2024. Establishes a training center and also establishes a law enforcement complex for the department of law enforcement. Establishes positions and appropriates funds.


SB2370 SD2 HD1 CD1 establishes the Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions within the Department of Human Services to be headed by the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. Appropriates funds for the administration of the Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions. Establishes five full-time equivalents

SB3235 SD1 HD1 CD1 establishes the Safe Spaces for Youth Pilot Program within the Department of Human Services. Requires the pilot program to collaborate with all state and county departments that offer services to ensure the well-being of youth in Hawaii to coordinate the identification of youth who are experiencing homelessness and placement of these youth at a shelter for homeless youth. Requires the Department of Human Services to contract with nonprofit organizations to provide shelters for homeless youth. Requires the Department of Human Services to submit a report to the Legislature before the Regular Session of 2025. Appropriates funds.

HB2512 HD2 SD2 CD2 permits recipients of accommodations or services from an ohana zone site to request a ninety-day extension of the accommodations or services. Expands regulatory exemptions for ohana zones pilot program contracts. Extends the sunset date for the ohana zones pilot program to 6/30/2026. Appropriates funds for the ohana zones pilot program.

Environment and Climate Change

SB2283 SD2 HD1 CD1 requires the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to conduct a study to examine the potential for the production and use of renewable hydrogen in the State and the potential role of renewable hydrogen in achieving a local, affordable, reliable, and decarbonized energy system and economy. Requires a report to the Legislature.

SB2511 SD2 HD2 CD1 expands the renewable energy technologies income tax credit to include firm renewable energy systems and long-duration renewable energy storage systems. Caps the amount of credit that may be claimed by a taxpayer and the total amount of tax credits for certain firm renewable energy systems and long-duration renewable energy storage systems that may be claimed in a taxable year. Specifies that the income tax credit is available for eligible systems that are placed in service before 1/1/2046.

HB1672 HD1 SD2 expands the purpose and rationale for which counties may create special improvement districts to include environmental research, restoration, and maintenance; natural resource management; and natural hazard mitigation to improve environmental conditions and provide community benefits. Effective 7/1/2022.

HB1800 HD2 SD2 CD2 establishes a goal for the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit to be at least fifty per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Requires the Hawaii state energy office to conduct a study to determine Hawaii’s pathway to decarbonization and identify challenges, opportunities, and actions that will be needed to achieve those goals. Appropriates funds out of the energy security special fund for the study.

HB2120 HD1 SD2 CD1 clarifies current practices, policies, and procedures of the state emergency management program and updates it with the prevailing emergency management best practices. Highlights the intent of the State, Governor, and emergency management agencies to address environmental and climate impacts on emergency management.

To view all bills passed during the 2022 Legislative Session, please visit the Hawai‘i State Legislature’s website. David J. Ige has until June 27, 2022, to provide the Legislature with notification of his Intent to Veto.


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