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Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Green Signs 253 Bills Into Law
By News Release @ 11:59 PM :: 2083 Views :: Hawaii State Government

253 HISTORIC BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR GREEN

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 10, 2024

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., enacted 253 of the 260 bills passed during the 2024 legislative session. As of July 10, Governor Green hosted 16 bill signing ceremonies for 137 bills on issues related to short-term rental regulation, good government, affordable housing, environmental protections, native Hawaiian cultural preservation, health care systems, as well as historic income tax reform and reducing the cost of living. 

These enacted laws represent Governor Green’s commitments and investments to achieving The Hawaiʻi We Deserve, the Green Administration’s comprehensive policy agenda aimed at tackling the key issues faced by the state of Hawaiʻi.  

Some key developments during the last legislative session include: 

On July 9, Governor Green signed HB 1800 (Act 230, SLH 2024), the supplemental budget act which amends Act 164, SLH 2023, and appropriates $19.1 billion across all means of financing, including more than $10.3 billion in general funds for operating support for fiscal year 2025. For capital improvement projects (CIP), $4.5 billion is appropriated across all means of financing, including $1.4 billion in general obligation (G.O.) bond funds for construction projects statewide.

Governor Green enacted line-item budget reductions totaling $74.2 million for operating in general funds for fiscal year 2025. No cuts to social services were considered or included in the line-item reductions. After these modest operating reductions, every program has a base level of general funds for fiscal year 2025 that is greater than those in previous supplemental years. These line-item reductions represent less than 1% of the total state budget.

Governor Green also enacted line-item budget reductions totaling $79.5 million for CIP in general funds for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. For CIP, G.O. bond funds are the preferred means of financing. Each CIP program has substantial G.O. bond fund appropriations to continue improving facilities for schools, libraries and universities.

On June 3, Governor Green signed HB 2404 (Act 46, SLH 2024) into law, providing significant tax relief to Hawaiʻi’s working families. The largest income tax cut for working families in the state’s history, this legislation increases the standard deduction, which benefits low- and medium-income households and amends the tax brackets by eliminating the lowest brackets and lowering the tax rates for all brackets. 

In signing this historic bill, the Green Administration studied the impacts of all the tax proposals under consideration in the Legislature, including the Child Care Tax Credit advocated by the Progressive caucus. Research by the Department of Taxation showed that this tax cut was, by far, the most effective and significant policy approach to support working families. The tax cut provides 10 times more benefits to working families than the childcare tax credit, amounting to a 71% decrease in income tax by 2031.

On May 3, Governor Green signed SB 2919 (Act 17, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi (SLH) 2024) into law, which clarifies the counties’ authority to control the time, place, manner and duration of land uses, particularly transient accommodations including short-term rentals. SB 2919 will expand the counties’ zoning powers and broaden the scope of the Transient Accommodations Tax Law.

On June 27, Governor Green signed HB 2159 (Act 87, SLH 2024), which amends Hawaiʻi’s mental health statute to emphasize enhanced support for individuals needing assisted community treatment (ACT). These changes, which require the Department of the Attorney General to assist in preparing and filing petitions for ACT and allow private petitioners to decline, aim to streamline access to mental health services and divert individuals away from the criminal justice system, promoting a more compassionate and effective approach to mental health care in Hawaiʻi.

On June 20, the Green Administration joined plaintiffs representing Hawaiʻi’s youth in announcing the resolution of the Navahine v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) constitutional climate case. Approved by the court, the agreement creates a framework to be executed by the HDOT that further confirms Hawaiʻi’s position as one of the leading states in the nation in moving from a transportation system that depends on fossil fuels to a cleaner and safer system that supports a transition to vehicles that run on clean electricity or alternative fuels and gives people more choices to get around by walking, cycling/scootering and riding public transit.

On July 1, Governor Green signed HB 2430 (Act 155, SLH 2024), which aims to maximize participation in the federal summer electronic benefits transfer (EBT) for children program, highlighting the Green Administration’s commitment to ensuring food security for Hawaiʻi’s youth. The Act requires the Department of Education to work with the Department of Human Services to share necessary data and comply with federal regulations. The Act appropriates $53,500 for the Department of Education and $2,050,000 for the Department of Human Services for FY 2024-2025, contingent on matching federal funds.

On July 5, in response to the 2023 Maui wildfires, Governor Green signed legislation for fire safety and disaster resilience, including legislation that would create the Office of the State Fire Marshal (Act 209, SLH 2024) to enhance fire safety and prevention across Hawaiʻi and establish an Illegal Fireworks Task Force to improve public safety (Act 208, SLH 2024).

Governor Green also signed more than 116 additional bills, separate from the public signings in his ceremonial room.

Governor Green issued seven vetoes on July 9, due to legal, fiscal, and governmental operational efficiency concerns.

In signing these historic pieces of legislation, Governor Green thanked legislative leaders, partners and key community stakeholders for helping draft and pass important legislation to address state priorities.

“While this past session was not without its challenges, my Administration worked closely with the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to support major priorities for our residents, including providing generational reform through the Green Affordability Plan (GAP) and funding unprecedented wildfire recovery efforts, while maintaining our state’s fiscal strength and investments in housing, health care, the environment, and education.”

During the 2024 Legislative Session, the Green Administration advocated for critical funding for solutions against unprecedented crises such as the Maui wildfires, increased cost of living, a shortage of affordable housing, and homelessness. “Despite the high costs of recovery, we’ve balanced the budget and reformed our tax system to put more hard-earned income in the pockets of our residents. I look forward to building on the incredible successes of this past session,” said Governor Green. 

Highlights of enacted laws for the people of Hawaiʻi include: 

o   Good Government Bills (6 bills) 

o   Short-term Rental Regulation Bill 

o   Affordable Housing Bills (6 bills) 

o   Condo Owner Relief Bills (5 bills) 

o   Historic Income Tax Reform Bill and Medical Care GET Exemption Bill 

o   Healthcare Access and Healthcare Workforce Development Bills (22 bills) 

o   DHHL and Native Hawaiian Bills (13 bills) 

o   Keiki and Kupuna Wellness Bills (16 bills) 

o   Agriculture Bills (12 bills) 

o   Wildfire Resilience and Disaster Preparedness Bills (16 bills) 

o   Environmental Conservation and Land Management Bills (16 bills) 

o   Crime and Community Safety Bills (17 bills) 

o   Designating State Snails Bill 

o   Water Safety Bills (2 bills) 

Bills enacted into law by Governor Josh Green, M.D., may be found on the Hawaiʻi State Legislature website. 

Office of the Governor news releases relating to bill signings and other matters of statewide public interest may be found here. 

Photos from today’s news conference, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.

Governor Green presented this slide deck during today’s event.

Video of the news conference can be viewed here.

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GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 22 BILLS FOR HAWAIʻI’S HEALTH CARE, COMMUNITY SYSTEMS AND HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT INTO LAW

News Release from Office of the Governor, June 27, 2024

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 22 significant pieces of legislation into law, marking a significant day for Hawaiʻi’s health care industry, community support systems, and health care workforce development. Among these new laws are four key bills: SB 3139, HB 2159, SB 3094, and HB 1827, which would continue the Green Administration’s commitment to a healthier Hawaiʻi and improving the state’s health care system. 

SB 3139: RELATING TO CRISIS SERVICES

SB 3139 creates a crisis intervention and diversion services program within the Department of Health, aimed at steering individuals with mental health and substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and toward appropriate health care services. This initiative reflects Hawaiʻi’s commitment to providing compassionate care and support to those in crisis, ensuring they receive timely intervention and treatment instead of incarceration. 

“Through this bill, we affirm our commitment to a more humane and effective approach to addressing mental health crises in our communities. By prioritizing access to crisis intervention services, we can support individuals in need and foster healthier outcomes for everyone,” said Governor Green. 

HB 2159: RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH

HB 2159 amends Hawaiʻi’s mental health statutes, emphasizing enhanced support for individuals needing assisted community treatment (ACT). This bill requires the Department of the Attorney General to assist in preparing and filing petitions for ACT, ensuring that individuals receive necessary psychiatric evaluations before discharge from psychiatric facilities, and allowing private petitioners the option to decline state assistance. These changes aim to streamline access to mental health services and divert individuals away from the criminal justice system, promoting a more compassionate and effective approach to mental health care in Hawaiʻi. 

This measure underscores Governor Green’s commitment to improving mental health outcomes statewide. “By ensuring comprehensive support through assisted community treatment, we are prioritizing the well-being of individuals in crisis and reinforcing our commitment to compassionate care for all residents of Hawaiʻi,” said the Governor. These reforms are set to take effect immediately, marking a significant step forward in Hawaiʻi’s efforts to strengthen its mental health support framework. 

SB 3094: RELATING TO PEER SUPPORT SPECIALISTS

SB 3094 establishes a temporary peer support specialist working group within the Office of Wellness and Resilience (OWR) to enhance the role and effectiveness of peer support specialists in Hawaiʻi. Peer support is recognized for its benefits in mental and behavioral health, as well as for individuals facing homelessness, substance abuse, and involvement in child welfare or justice systems.

“Creating the Office of Wellness and Resilience and establishing this working group are visionary steps toward a healthier, more resilient, and more supportive Hawaiʻi,” said Governor Green. “Peer support specialists play a vital role in fostering recovery and resilience, and this legislation will strengthen our state’s mental health infrastructure.” 

HB 1827: RELATING TO HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

HB 1827 addresses the pressing need for a robust health care workforce in Hawaiʻi. This legislation focuses on implementing new and expanding existing programs to attract, train, and retain health care professionals in the state. HB 1827 includes initiatives utilizing a public-private investment and partnership model including support for the High School Health Care Workforce Certificate Program, classroom renovations for health care training, and the Glidepath Program for Certified Nurse Aides.

The complete list of bills signed included the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law. 

RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH 

HB1830 HB2 SD1 CD 1

HB2042 HD1 SD1 CD1

SB3279 SD1 HD2 CD1

HB1148 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO PUBLIC HEALTH STANDING ORDERS 

SB3122 SD1 HD2

RELATING TO MEDICAL CARE FOR MINORS 

SB3125 SD2 HD2

RELATING TO INSURANCE 

HB1686 HD1 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO NURSES 

SB63 SD2 HD3 CD2

RELATING TO PRESCRIPTIONS 

SB2119 HD1 CD1

HB1836 HD2 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO DENTAL HYGIENISTS 

SB2476 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO PROVIDER ORDERS FOR LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT FORM 

SB2529 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION MEDICAL BENEFITS 

HB1944 HD2 SD1 CD1

HB1889 HD1 SD2

RELATING TO THE OʻAHU REGIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, HAWAIʻI HEALTH SYSTEMS CORPORATION 

SB2387 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO TITLE 24, HAWAIʻI REVISED STATUTES 

HB2393 HD1 SD1

RELATING TO PHARMACISTS 

HB2553 HD2 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO EDUCATION 

HB2577 HD1 SD1

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here

Video of the event can be viewed here

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GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 13 BILLS FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN COMMUNITIES AND DHHL BENEFICIARIES ON HOUSING, EDUCATION, AND FOSTERING CULTURAL PRACTICES

News Release from Office of the Governor, June 28, 2024

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 13 significant pieces of legislation into law, marking a significant day and the Green Administration’s renewed commitment for Hawaiʻi’s Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL), Native Hawaiian education, cultural practices and traditions, and stewardship. Among these new laws are four key bills: SB 3109, HB 2074, SB 2937, and SB 2659, which would continue the Green Administration’s commitment to ensuring housing, education, and responsible tourism for Native Hawaiian communities.

SB 3109: ADDRESSING THE HOUSING WAITLIST

SB 3109 tackles the long-standing waitlist to provide housing to beneficiaries by extending a $600 million special fund. This fund will be used to develop housing, purchase land, provide funding for applicants on the waiting list, and offer housing assistance to families. Additionally, the bill explores revenue-generating opportunities from controlled lands to further assist beneficiaries.

“This legislation is a major step toward fulfilling our commitment to providing housing for our beneficiaries,” said Governor Green. “By extending this special fund, we can make significant progress in addressing the housing needs of our community.”

HB 2074: STRATEGIC PLAN FOR KAIAPUNI EDUCATION

HB 2074 mandates the Department of Education (DOE) to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for Kaiapuni (learning environment) education during the 2023-2024 school year. The plan will monitor the academic success of approximately 1,400 students in the Kaiapuni program. The bill also appropriates approximately $3.5 million to fund new positions for Kaiapuni teachers and curriculum specialists.

“Kaiapuni education is vital for the preservation and promotion of Hawaiian language and culture,” stated Governor Green. “This strategic plan will ensure that our Kaiapuni students receive the support they need to succeed academically. I thank the DOE for their dedication to this important cause.”

SB 2937: HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE LEARNING AT UH HILO

SB 2937 permanently exempts the College of Hawaiian Languages at UH Hilo from English-medium standards. This legislation furthers the state’s commitment to Hawaiian language learning and education, ensuring that students can receive instruction in the Hawaiian language without the constraints of English-medium standards.

“This bill is a testament to our commitment to Hawaiian language revitalization,” said Governor Green. “By making this exemption permanent, we support UH Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Languages in its mission to promote and preserve the native language of Hawaiʻi.”

SB 2659: SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

SB 2659 requires the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to develop and update a Tourism Functional Plan. This plan will update Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry policy to emphasize sustainable development, cultural integrity, and economic diversification, including Native Hawaiian cultural resources.

“Sustainable tourism is essential for the future of our state,” stated Governor Green. “This bill ensures that our visitor industry grows in a way that respects and preserves our cultural heritage while promoting economic diversification.”

Governor Green’s signing of today’s 13 bills signifies a commitment to strengthening Hawaiian homelands, enhancing Native Hawaiian education, preserving cultural practices, and promoting sustainable development. These new laws are set to bring meaningful change to the state and its people.

“Today, we make significant strides in supporting our Native Hawaiian community and preserving our cultural heritage,” concluded Governor Green. “I am grateful to all the legislators, advocates, and community members who have worked tirelessly to make these bills possible. Together, we are building a brighter future for Hawaiʻi and its Native Hawaiian communities.”

The complete list of bills signed included the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law.

RELATING TO REGULATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES

SB3154 HD1 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO THE HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION ACT

HB2218 HD1 SD2

RELATING TO KALAUPAPA

SB2289 SD2 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO BURIAL SITES

SB2591 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO MAKAHIKI COMMEMORATION DAY

SB2657 SD1 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO THE LAND TRUST ACT

SB3236 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO ACCESS TO VITAL RECORDS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS

SB3123 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO BURIAL COUNCILS

HB1529 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO FISHPONDS

HB2626 HD1 SD1

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.

Governor Green presented this slide deck during the bill signing.

Video of the event can be viewed here.

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GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 16 BILLS TO ENHANCE THE PROTECTION AND CARE OF HAWAIʻI’S KEIKI AND KŪPUNA

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 1, 2024

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 16 key bills to enhance the protection and care of Hawaiʻi’s keiki and kūpuna and to ensure safety in Hawaiʻi’s schools. 

“These legislative measures represent a significant step forward in safeguarding our most vulnerable populations — our keiki and kūpuna,” said Governor Green.  “Our schools need to be safe environments for learning and our kūpuna need to have access to the services they need.” 

The new laws include: 

HB 2400: ADDRESSING TEACHER MISCONDUCT

HB 2400 requires teachers who resign or retire during an investigation into allegations of sexual assault, harassment, or physical abuse, to forfeit their teaching licenses. This forfeiture must be reported to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, which closes the loophole that allows teachers accused of serious misconduct to continue teaching elsewhere if they resign or retire in lieu of being disciplined. The new rules take effect upon approval, ensuring immediate action to protect students and to maintain the integrity of the teaching profession. 

HB 2224: COMPREHENSIVE LONG-TERM CARE PLAN

HB 2224 requires the Executive Office on Aging, in coordination with the State Health Planning and Development Agency, to create a comprehensive long-term care plan to accomplish certain long-term care policy goals that ensure the availability of a full continuum of institutional and community-based services for Hawaiʻi’s growing elderly population in Hawaiʻi with disabilities and chronic conditions. The bill emphasizes the preference for home-based care and aims to develop a comprehensive long-term care plan to ensure a continuum of care services. The bill also appropriates $79,872 for FY 2024-2025 to establish a long-term care planner position. 

SB 2305: ESTABLISHMENT OF A SILVER ALERT PROGRAM

To protect vulnerable seniors and individuals with cognitive impairments or developmental disabilities who go missing, this program will utilize systems like the emergency alert system and wireless emergency alerts to disseminate information quickly and efficiently. The Department of Law Enforcement will develop and implement the program, with activation conditions including age, cognitive impairment, or developmental disability and a credible threat to the individual’s health and safety. The act appropriates $250,000 for FY 2024-2025 to establish and operate the program, effective July 1, 2024. 

SB 2475: CREATION OF A “HARM TO STUDENTS” REGISTRY

SB 2475 establishes a “harm to students” registry to prevent school employees, contractors or volunteers who have inflicted harm on students from gaining employment in schools. Reporting institutions must certify due process, consult the registry before hiring, and share investigation information. The registry is exempt from public disclosure laws, and institutions must defend and indemnify the Department of Education from related liability. 

HB 2430: ESTABLISHMENT OF A SUMMER EBT PROGRAM FOR OUR KEIKI

HB 2430 aims to maximize participation in the federal summer electronic benefits transfer (EBT) for children program. The Department of Education will work with the Department of Human Services to share necessary data and comply with federal regulations. The bill appropriates $53,500 for the Department of Education and $2,050,000 for the Department of Human Services for FY 2024-2025, contingent on matching federal funds. 

“Ensuring that our keiki have access to nutritious meals during the summer months is my administration’s utmost priority. This program will make sure that as many families as possible are participating to enhance our state’s food security and promote healthy development for our keiki,” Green said. 

The complete list of bills signed included the following: 

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law. 

RELATING TO THE CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT

SB2245 SD1 HD2

RELATING TO MINORS

HB470 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO CHILD CARE

HB2227 HD2 SD1

RELATING TO THE CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CENTRAL REGISTRY

HB2425 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO RELATIVE RESOURCE CAREGIVERS

HB2426 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO EDUCATION

SB3207 SD2 HD1 CD1

SB2257 SD3 HD1 CD1

SB3305 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

SB2070 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING

SB3087 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO THE PRESCHOOL OPEN DOORS PROGRAM

SB3116 SD2 HD1 CD1

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here

Governor Green presented this slide deck during the event.

Video of the event can be viewed here.

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GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 12 BILLS TO STRENGTHEN HAWAIʻI’S AGRICULTURE, BIOSECURITY, AND RESPONSIBLE LAND MANAGEMENT

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 3, 2024

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed into law 12 pivotal bills aimed at fortifying Hawaiʻi’s agricultural resilience, enhancing biosecurity measures, and promoting responsible land management practices.

“These bills represent a huge step in the safeguarding of Hawaiʻi’s agricultural interests, in protecting consumer rights, and in ensuring biosecurity,” said Governor Green. “Supporting local agriculture strengthens our food self-sufficiency and helps us diversify our economy.”

Key bills signed into law include:

SB2079: STRENGTHENING IMPORTATION CONDITIONS

This measure enhances regulations for the importation of nursery stock, plants, animals, and related products into Hawaiʻi. It mandates immediate notification upon arrival, detailed shipment information, and secure holding to prevent pest spread until inspection. The bill also strengthens labeling requirements and grants inspectors the authority to enforce quarantine and treatment protocols.

SB3365: COMPREHENSIVE BIOSECURITY MEASURES

SB3365 requires the mandatory distribution of state plant and animal declaration forms to passengers and crew arriving from outside Hawaiʻi. Visitors, returning residents, and crew will be allowed to submit their forms electronically while maintaining Hawaiʻi’s paper option.

HB2298: PROTECTING HAWAIʻI-GROWN COFFEE

This legislation addresses deceptive labeling practices of Hawaiʻi-grown coffee. Effective July 1, 2027, the law prohibits the use of geographic origin names like “Kona” on coffee products unless they contain at least 51% coffee by weight from that origin. The bill mandates clear labeling requirements for coffee blends and strict enforcement to protect the integrity of Hawaiʻi-grown coffee brands.

HB2278: ENHANCING MACADAMIA NUT LABELING TRANSPARENCY

HB2278 increases transparency in macadamia nut labeling by requiring products containing nuts grown outside Hawaiʻi to disclose this fact on the label. It prohibits misleading “with Hawaiʻi-Grown” claims unless all macadamia nuts are sourced from Hawaiʻi, with stringent enforcement measures and penalties for violations.

The complete list of bills signed included the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law.

RELATING TO FARMERS

SB2960 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTION

HB2144 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE

SB2413 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO REGULATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES

SB3154 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO CAMPS

HB1923 HD1 SD2

RELATING TO PESTICIDES

HB2337 HD1 SD2

RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES

HB2546 HD1 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO FERAL CHICKENS

SB2401 SD2 HD2 CD1

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.

Governor Green presented this slide deck during today’s event.

Video of the event can be viewed here

SA: Gov. Josh Green signs Hawaii agriculture bills into law

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GOVERNOR JOSH GREEN SIGNS 16 BILLS INTO LAW TO IMPROVE FIRE SAFETY, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, VETERAN SUPPORT AND IMPROVED LANGUAGE ACCESS FOR ALL

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 05, 2024

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 16 significant bills into law, addressing key areas such as fire safety, emergency management, disaster response, veteran support, language access for immigrants and regulations for charitable giving.

“These legislative measures are crucial in enhancing our state’s resilience, safety and inclusivity,” said Governor Green. “By addressing these important pillars of disaster prevention, mitigation and management, we are working to ensure that all residents of Hawai‘i are better protected and prepared, especially during times of crisis.”

The new laws include:

HB2193: ENHANCING FIREWORKS REGULATION AND SAFETY

HB 2193 establishes an Illegal Fireworks Task Force and expands inspection powers for officers with police and fire authority. It introduces administrative inspections of controlled premises and mandates comprehensive recordkeeping and reporting requirements for licensees. The law also empowers law enforcement and fire departments to safely dispose of confiscated fireworks, holding violators liable for storage and disposal costs. These measures aim to improve regulatory oversight and enhance public safety regarding fireworks usage.

SB2085: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL

SB 2085 creates the Office of the State Fire Marshal within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to enhance fire safety and prevention across Hawaiʻi. The state fire marshal, appointed for a five-year term, will coordinate statewide fire protection efforts, propose fire code amendments and oversee fire safety training and certification. The bill appropriates $172,000 for FY 2024-2025 to fund the state fire marshal position, support staff, and related operational costs, effective July 1, 2024.

HB2107: LANGUAGE ACCESS FOR LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (LEP)

HB 2107 establishes a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) language access coordinator position within the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, allocating $200,000 for FY 2024-2025. The Act addresses the disproportionate disaster-related risks faced by LEP individuals by ensuring compliance with federal language access laws, such as the Stafford Act. It highlights the inadequacy of language interpretation services during the immediate aftermath of the August 8, 2023, Maui wildfires, and aims to improve access to emergency relief for LEP populations.

SB2693: PREVENTING CHARITABLE FRAUD DURING EMERGENCIES

SB 2693 introduces a new section to Hawaii Revised Statutes, making charitable fraud during a state of emergency an offense. It defines charitable fraud as using deceptive practices, misrepresentation, or misuse of contributions solicited for disaster victims during a state of emergency. The offense is classified based on the amount of contributions obtained or attempted, with severe penalties for larger amounts. This Act ensures immediate enforcement upon approval, protecting the public from fraudulent charitable solicitations during emergencies.

“These new laws reflect our commitment to protecting and supporting all members of our community, especially in times of need,” said Governor Green. “By improving fire safety, enhancing emergency management, supporting our veterans, and ensuring language access for all, we are building a safer, more inclusive Hawaii.”

The complete list of bills signed includes the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law. 

RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

HB1902 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO IMMIGRATION

SB2787 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO A WILDFIRE FORECAST SYSTEM FOR HAWAII

SB2284 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO FIRE PREVENTION

HB1842 HD1 SD1

RELATING TO THE LANDLORD-TENANT CODE

HB2742 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATED TO ELECTRONIC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

SB2782 SD2 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE

SB3290 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO SOLICITATION OF FUNDS FROM THE PUBLIC

SB2983 SD2 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VETERANS

SB2731 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO THE HAWAII NATIONAL GUARD

HB2395 HD1 SD2

HB2396 HD1 SD2

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.

Governor Green presented this slide deck during today’s event.

Video of the event can be viewed here.

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GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 16 BILLS TO STRENGTHEN HAWAI‘I’S ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, RESPONSIBLE TOURISM AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 8, 2024

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 16 pivotal bills that expand the state’s efforts to preserve Hawai‘i’s natural resources and foster sustainable tourism practices.

“These bills represent significant steps forward in safeguarding Hawai‘i’s environment and promoting responsible tourism,” said Governor Green. “They build upon several bills I signed previously that aim to protect our environment, further clean energy legislation and enact climate mitigation and resilience measures.”

“These bills reflect our continued commitment to preserving Hawai‘i’s natural beauty and cultural values for future generations.”

The legislation strengthens existing laws and policies in environmental conservation, regenerative land use, marine activities regulation and tourism management strategies.

They include:

SB3364 – CREATING ACTION PLANS FOR TOURISM MANAGEMENT
SB 3364 mandates that the HTA establish destination management action plans for O‘ahu, Maui Nui, Hawai‘i Island, and Kaua‘i, fostering collaboration among state agencies, counties and advisory groups. The plans aim to enhance visitor experiences, improve natural and cultural resources, develop a sustainable tourism infrastructure and promote regenerative tourism practices, with a particular focus on preserving and promoting Native Hawaiian culture.

HB2248 – CREATING A NORTH SHORE BEACH MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR O‘AHU
HB 2248 appropriates $1 million to develop a comprehensive beach management plan from Sunset Point to Kapoʻo (Sharks Cove) on Oʻahu’s North Shore. Led by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, the plan will address beach erosion and will enhance recreational access. The plan also seeks to preserve natural habitats through community input and innovative coastal protection strategies.

HB2475 – REGULATING COMMERCIAL OCEAN ACTIVITIES
HB 2475 expands the regulation of commercial ocean activities in Hawai‘i’s state waters, targeting illegal operations and unpermitted commercialization promoted on social media. The legislation strengthens enforcement measures under the Department of Land and Natural Resources, safeguarding marine resources and public safety.

SB2575 – PROHIBITING SEABED MINING IN STATE WATERS
SB 2575 prohibits seabed mining in Hawai‘i’s state marine waters, citing environmental risks. It also upholds Hawai‘i’s constitutional mandate for a clean and healthy environment. The Act supports sustainable marine resource management while respecting Native Hawaiian cultural connections to the ocean.

“These bills collectively reinforce our commitment to sustainable tourism practices, environmental conservation and the preservation of Hawai‘i’s unique natural resources,” Governor Green said.

The complete list of bills signed includes the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law.

RELATING TO NUMBER PLATES
HB1861 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO OCEAN STEWARDSHIP
SB2182 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO OCEAN RECREATION
SB2721 SD2 HD2 CD1

RELATING TO THE PACIFIC MARINE FISHERIES COMPACT
HB2478 HD1 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO WASTEWATER
HB2743 HD2 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
HB2453 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO RENT CREDITS FOR DEMOLITION AND INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS ON PUBLIC LAND LEASES
HB2467 HD1 SD1 CD1

RELATING TO INSPECTIONS ON PUBLIC LAND
HB2471 HD2 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO VETERINARY MEDICINE
HB1527 HD1 SD2

RELATING TO AQUATIC RESOURCES
HB1554 HD1 SD1

RELATING TO WILDLIFE
HB1922 HD2 SD1

RELATING TO DANGEROUS DOGS
HB2058 HD1 SD1 CD1

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here.
Governor Green presented this
slide deck during the event.
Video of the event can be viewed
here.

  *   *   *   *   *

GOVERNOR GREEN SIGNS 17 BILLS TO ENHANCE CRIME PREVENTION, PUBLIC SAFETY AND IMPROVE LAW ENFORCEMENT

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 9, 2024

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today signed 17 significant bills aimed at improving crime prevention, public safety and law enforcement across Hawai‘i. These legislative measures are designed to enhance the state’s legal frameworks, ensure public protection and promote effective law enforcement practices.

“Today’s bills mark a substantial advancement in our efforts to enhance public safety and strengthen our law enforcement systems,” said Governor Green. “By addressing issues ranging from gun control to gambling regulation and support for survivors of abuse, we are building a safer and more just Hawaiʻi.”

SB2845 – REGULATING AMMUNITION ACCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS UNDER 21
SB 2845 aligns ammunition regulations with existing firearm laws by prohibiting the sale, ownership and possession of ammunition by individuals under 21. Specific exemptions are provided for hunting and target shooting activities. The Act introduces stringent identification verification requirements for sellers and updates penalties and enforcement measures to ensure compliance.

SB2197 – EXPANDING GAMBLING ENFORCEMENT
SB 2197 expands the definition of “advance gambling activity” to include various forms of material aid to gambling activities, such as creating gambling games, maintaining equipment and managing financial operations. The Act emphasizes the responsibility of those with control over premises used for gambling and includes a repeal and reenactment clause effective July 1, 2029.

SB2601 – EXTENDING CIVIL ACTION FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS
SB 2601 extends the time period for initiating civil actions for childhood sexual abuse committed on or after July 1, 2024. This extension acknowledges the cognitive and emotional barriers that often delay disclosure. The Act also allows courts to mandate trauma-informed response training for legal entities involved in such cases, enhancing sensitivity and appropriateness in handling allegations.

HB2231 – ENHANCING DIVERSITY IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
HB 2231 sets a goal to increase the representation of women law enforcement officers to 30% by 2030 and includes nonbinary officers in law enforcement agencies. The Act underscores the benefits of diversity, including improved public trust and better outcomes for crime victims. It requires law enforcement agencies to recruit officers from diverse backgrounds, including diverse educational backgrounds, and establishes benchmarks to measure progress towards the diversity goals.

The complete list of bills signed includes the following:

Click links to see full details of bills enacted into law. 

RELATING TO ABUSIVE LITIGATION

HB2657 HD1 SD1

RELATING TO COMPUTER CRIME

SB2193 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO CRIME

SB2532 SD2 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS

SB2706 SD1 HD1

RELATING TO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

SB3033 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO PENAL LIABILITY

SB3034 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO PROMOTING PORNOGRAPHY FOR MINORS

SB3037 SD1 HD1 CD1

RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE

HB1953 HD1 SD2 CD1

RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

HB1611 HD2 SD2

RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

HB2352 HD1 SD2

Photos from today’s ceremony, courtesy Office of the Governor, will be uploaded here

Governor Green presented this slide deck during the event.

Video of the event can be viewed here.

  *   *   *   *   *

COVERAGE:

HTH: New laws aim to improve fire safety, reduce fraud during disasters - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

HNN: Governor signs traffic safety measures aimed at cracking down on repeat offenders (hawaiinewsnow.com)

SA: Gov. Green signs bills to enhance disaster preparation, response | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

SA: Gov. Green signs bills to enhance public safety | Honolulu Star-Advertiser 

HNN: Governor signs several bills relating to environment, regenerative tourism (hawaiinewsnow.com)  

HTH: 4 new laws address tourism, environment - Hawaii Tribune-Herald 

MM: Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Creating Expungement Task Force That's Expected To Consider Marijuana Conviction Relief - Marijuana Moment 

SA: Editorial: Act on necessary fire disaster laws | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

SA: Gov. Green signs final bill, frames revenue picture and strategizes on Senate pick | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

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