Legislative Update 28 Feb 2008

As we begin a new session of the Hawaii State Legislature, I have introduced many of the bills listed below. A number of them relate to areas in which I have special responsibility as Chair of the House Committee on Human Services & Housing. Others are intended to benefit District 45, which I have represented for the past six years. The list also includes bills introduced by my legislative colleagues—and which have my support.

HOUSING
HB 2209 funds the Kaloko Housing Program in West Hawaii to provide housing for families impacted by homelessness
HB 2242 authorizes counties to impose an affordable housing requirement as a condition of permit approval
HB 2511 (SB 3172) provides rental assistance applicants up to 3 months to find a qualified dwelling
HB 2512 appropriates $500,000 to expedite by third-party review the processing of building permits for affordable housing projects
HB 2513 (SB 3174) authorizes issuing bonds and appropriating $30 million into the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund
HB 2514 extends the sunset date for allocating 50% of conveyance tax to the Rental Housing Trust Fund (RHTF)
HB 2665 allows HPHA to give preferential considerations to those who build or renovate public housing while concurrently developing adjacent property.
HB 3060 authorizes resale of reserved housing units by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, requiring units to remain affordable in perpetuity
HB 2238 requires that public & publicly funded housing projects remain affordable in perpetuity
HB 3403 (SB 2560) establishes a trust fund to help with technical assistance costs generated by self-help housing projects

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
HB 2888 authorizes issuance of bonds to expand and renovate Wai’anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and other rural health centers
HB 3008 provides tax credit to improve to Federally Qualified Health Centers
HB 2795 offers improvements to the system whereby the Dept of Health pays & reimburses Federally Qualified Health Centers & rural health clinics
HB 3422 (SB 3205) expands indigent legal service funding by increasing the surcharge on initial filing fees for civil actions
SB 2459 permits dispensing pharmacies to operate in remote, underserved areas
HB 3400 makes the legal guardian of a qualified minor eligibile for aid under the TANF & TAONF family assistance programs
HB 2596 requires the department of Human Services to investigate reports of drug use in the home of a child within 24 hours
HB 2761 requires at least 6 months of post-partum & interconception care for women of child-bearing age participating in QUEST health insurance program

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
HB 2550 Net Energy Metering; increases the total rated generating capacity produced by eligible customer-generators
HB 2509 establishes a state program for recycling electronic devices
SB 2189 establishes a Makua Reserve Commission to oversee preservation & restoration activities in Makua Valley
SB 3138 funds continuation of baseline environmental study of Wai’anae Coast
SB 2629 prohibits polystyrene foam food takeout containers, effective 1/1/10

EDUCATION
HB 2770 expands the Bridge to Hope Program to enable heads of household receiving financial assistance and participating in the First-to-Work Program to pursue a full range of post-secondary education
HB 2051 provides educational stability for foster children in decisions regarding school placement; appropriates funds for school transportation services
SB 2246 extends the timeframe in which a former foster youth may apply for a higher education board allowance
SB 2164 establishes the Hawaii Charter School Facilities Fund for repair and maintenance
LCC/Wai’anae is ranked high on a UH priority list to receive funds to purchase land and structure near campus

CONSUMER PROTECTION
SB 1789 designates an access organization to oversee operation of cable television channels and requires the cable advisory committee to advise access organizations.

HIGH TECHNOLOGY
HB 3358 creates a high-technology park on the island of Oahu

AGRICULTURE
SB 958 imposes a 10-year moratorium on developing, testing, propagating, cultivating, growing, and raising genetically engineered taro in Hawaii
HB 2261 includes farm and aquaculture projects in existing loan programs
MA’O Farm: a $700,000 award, pending legislative approval, has been made by the Legacy Lands Commission to Waianae’s MA’O farm for land purchase

AQUACULTURE, FISHING, & OCEAN ACTIVITIES
HB 1616 appropriates funds to explore feasibility of a quarantine & laboratory facility for aquatic species used in Hawaii’s aquaculture industry.
SB 2196 grants regulatory authority to the Dept of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) over certain commercial activities at boating facilities & on ocean waters
SB 3137 makes an appropriation to DLNR for akule fish monitoring

HAWAIIAN
SB 266 conveys certain parcels of land and transfers cash to OHA as part of the State’s constitutional obligations to Native Hawaiians
SB 938 amends Hawaiian Homes Commission Act to require state to consult with beneficiaries on commercial development projects involving trust land assets

GOVERNMENT
HB 661 (SB 1068) creates comprehensive public funding for elections to any county council
HB 3013 would allow member states to determine the winner of a presidential election by “national popular vote.”

PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 2071 requires the Department of Health (DOH) to establish air sampling stations to monitor for levels of depleted uranium
HB 2034 makes it a violation of the statewide traffic code to leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle
HB 2816 requires the DOH to license clean and sober homes & establish standard operating procedures

TRANSPORTATION
HB 2524 requires the Statewide Transportation Council to comply with county transportation & general plans to prepare for the statewide transportation plan
HB 3406 Expands the authority of the Aloha Tower Development Corporation to assist in the development of the statewide harbors modernization plan by establishing the Harbors Modernization Group. Authorizes the Department of Transportation to issue revenue bonds to finance the harbor improvements.
SB 3149 Requires the remittance of general excise tax revenues from liquid fuel sales to the state highway fund. Repeals provisions authorizing transfers of revenues deemed excess out of the state highway fund; replaces the tour vehicle surcharge tax of $65 for each tour vehicle that falls into the over twenty-five passenger seat category, and $15 for the eight to twenty-five passenger seat category, with unspecified surcharge amounts. (SD2)

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