Friday, May 24, 2019

STATE CIP FUNDS RELEASED TO BENEFIT WAIMEA SCHOOL


Total of $1.6 million to be used to buy land for adjacent parking lot
  Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – State Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds totaling $1.6 million were released by Governor David Ige yesterday to finance land acquisition for a parking lot adjacent to Waimea Elementary and Middle School on Hawaiʻi Island

Representative David A. Tarnas, who represents District 7 where the school is located, said this is an important safety measure for students and families in the area.
"Mahalo to the Governor and the Legislature for providing these funds," said Rep. Tarnas (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). "Acquiring this property is a top priority for me and the Waimea Elementary and Middle School community because it will provide a safe location for families to drop off and pick up the young students - especially on the many rainy and windy days we have in Waimea.

LAWMAKER CONCERNED WITH PATIENT DUMPING, POSSIBLE MEDICAID VIOLATIONS AT A COMMUNITY MEDICAID FOSTER HOME


Rep. Mizuno says move may put $2.6 billion in Federal Medicaid funding in jeopardy
  Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representative John M. Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, is concerned that a Community Care Family Foster Home (CCFFH), hence a Medicaid care home, may force a current private pay patient to leave its three-patient facility because that patient is transitioning from private pay status to Medicaid pay status.

“I was contacted by a person concerned that his father, who is a private pay client in a Medicaid community care home, would be kicked out of his current care home because he will become a Medicaid status patient," Rep. Mizuno said.
Mizuno said the fee that homes can charge Medicaid patients each month is less than they charge a private patient. But Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Sec. 321-481 provides in part, “The department, in its discretion, may certify a [community Medicaid] home for a third adult who is at the nursing facility level of care and is a Medicaid recipient.”
"What this means is that Medicaid care homes are allowed no more than two patients, however, if in the discretion of the health department such a Medicaid care home is allowed a third patient, such a patient MUST be a Medicaid patient," Mizuno said.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR DISTRICT 23 TOTAL $114.2 MILLION


Major funding for schools, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) earmarked for House District 23 through 2021 include $114.2 million targeting major improvements for schools and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
"These funds support education infrastructure improvements and initiatives, and are an investment in our students," said Representative Dale T. Kobayashi (Mānoa, Punahou, University, Mōʻiliʻili). "We must continue to set up the next generations to succeed, and I want to thank my colleagues for their support on these priorities."

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

REP. MIZUNO SELECTED AS MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS' NATIONAL HEALTHY STATES TASK FORCE SUBCOMMITTEE


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representative John M. Mizuno has been selected to participate on a subcommittee of The Council of State Governments’ national Healthy States Task Force.

“The CSG Healthy States National Task Force will bring together a diverse group of state policymakers to explore ways states can best meet the challenges presented by the current health care system and leverage the revolutionary changes occurring in the health sector,” said CSG Executive Director David Adkins.

Mizuno (District 28 - Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi) will serve on the Capacity, Preparedness and Resiliency, or CPR, Subcommittee. The subcommittee will examine case studies and review recent state responses to health crises, including ways to prevent and/or reduce the impact of health crisis through preventive care.

"I am happy and grateful to be named to this national Healthy States Task Force," said Mizuno. "Serving with my colleagues will allow us to share critical health care information which we can bring home to benefit our states. At the end of the day, stronger states make for a stronger nation."

EWA LAWMAKER INVITES INDUSTRIAL HEMP CONSULTING GROUP TO HAWAIʻI


Rep. Rida Cabanilla Arakawa believes hemp production will revitalize agriculture
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa (ʻEwa Villages, ʻEwa Beach, ʻEwa Gentry, Ocean Pointe) has invited Georgio Martinez and Johnathan Pozon founders and managing partners of Green Label Group LLP., which specializes in the structuring and consulting of the hemp industry, to Hawaiʻi for meetings and a presentation in Hilo.

The California-based company asserts years of field-cultivating experience in the cannabinoid agricultural sector and in the import and export of other commodities from around the globe, including sales, logistics, and market growth. 

This past session the Legislature passed SB1353 SD3 HD3 CD1 to facilitate the regulation and production of industrial hemp in Hawaiʻi.

Friday, May 10, 2019

LAWMAKERS GATHER FOR MĀNOA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

WHO:             Representative Dale Kobayashi
                        House Speaker Scott K. Saiki
                        House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti
                        House Majority Floor Leader Dee Morikawa
                        Senator Brian T. Taniguchi
                        City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi


WHAT:          Legislative Update with Mānoa Lawmakers and House Leadership


WHEN:          Monday, May 20
                        6:30 p.m.

                       
WHERE:       Mānoa Elementary School
                        Cafeteria


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi Rep. Dale T. Kobayashi (Mānoa, Punahou, University, Mōʻiliʻili) is hosting a Mānoa Legislative Update to review the 2019 Legislative session.  Joining him are members of the House leadership team to hear concerns from residents and take questions.

MAUI COUNTY RECEIVES $4.5 MILLION IN CIP GRANT-IN-AID FUNDING




Projects include affordable housing, a performing arts theatre, public access structure



Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned its 2019 session last week and Maui nonprofit organizations secured $4.5 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Grant-in-Aid funds.

These CIP grants are provided to local organizations serving the public and working to improve the state of Hawaiʻi,and are awarded for the purpose of construction projects or the acquisition of fixed assets such as land or buildings.

Grant-in-Aid CIP funding for Maui County include:
·         $100,000 for renovations, ADA compliance and energy efficiency for Ahupuaʻa O Molokaʻi
·         $850,000 for a new Paukūkalo Clubhouse in Wailuku for the Boys & Girls Club of Maui
·         $750,000 for a second building of the Hale Mahaolu Senior Housing Campus in Pukalani
·         $200,000 to plan for the expansion of Hale Makua Health Services Kahului campus
·         $250,000 to build the Hāna Health Rehabilitation and Support Center
·         $300,000 to the Housing and Land Enterprise of Maui for affordable housing units in Lahaina
·      

KAUAʻI COUNTY RECIEVES $1.3 MILLION IN CIP GRANT-IN-AID FUNDING


Projects include a playground, food service kitchen, delivery vans 

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned its 2019 session last week and Kauaʻi nonprofit organizations secured $1.3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Grant-in-Aid funds.

 These CIP grants are provided to local organizations serving the public and working to improve the state of Hawaiʻi, and are awarded for the purpose of construction projects or the acquisition of fixed assets such as land or buildings.

Grant-in-Aid CIP funding for Kauaʻi County include:
·         $250,000 for construction of a welcome center for Aha Hui E Kala
·         $50,000 to build a playground at Anaina Hou Community Park
·         $200,000 for improvements to Boys & Girls Club clubhouses in Kapaʻa, Līhuʻe and West Kauaʻi
·         $100,000 to support a restoration project for the Kamaloula Cultural Preserve in Kōloa
·         $200,000 to build a food service kitchen and community enterprise kitchen for Kauaʻi Economic Opportunity, Inc.
·         $30,000 for two delivery vans for the Meals on Wheels Program for Kauaʻi Economic Opportunity, Inc.
·     

HAWAIʻI COUNTY RECEIVES $1.5 MILLION IN CIP GRANT-IN-AID FUNDING


Projects include youth facilities, affordable housing, commercial kitchen



Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned its 2019 session last week and Hawaiʻi nonprofit organizations secured $1.5 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Grant-in-Aid funds.

These CIP grants are provided to local organizations serving the public and working to improve the state of Hawaiʻi, and are awarded for the purpose of construction projects or the acquisition of fixed assets such as land or buildings.

Grant-in-Aid CIP funding for Hawaiʻi County include:
·         $150,000 to the Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council as fiscal sponsor for Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Producers Cooperative to improve the Honalo Marshalling Yard facility
·         $100,000 to build a Behavioral Health Campus in Keaʻau for the Big Island Substance Abuse Council
·       

Thursday, May 9, 2019

MAUI COUNTY RECEIVES $337.4 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS


Funds earmarked for schools, infrastructure, conservation, prison improvements


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned its 2019 session last week and passed $337.4 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 for various projects across Maui County.
Capital Improvement Projects are renovations, repairs, and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications.
CIP funding highlights for Maui County include:
SCHOOLS
  • $2.4 million for Baldwin High School to design and construct a girls' athletic locker room and reroof Building B
  • $700,000 for Haiku Elementary School for a covered walkway and reroofing for Building E
  • $5.1 million for Iao Intermediate School for cafeteria and building C renovations, additional classrooms, and air conditioning installation
  • $6.5 million for Kahului Elementary School for design and construction of parking lot fencing and a new classroom building
  • $393,000 for Kalama Intermediate School parking lot renovation, design of a multipurpose room, and fire alarm replacement

KAUAʻI COUNTY RECEIVES $89.1 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS


Funds earmarked for schools, parks and recreation, infrastructure


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned its 2019 session last week and passed $89.1 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for fiscal year 2020 and 2021 for various projects across Kauaʻi County.
Capital Improvement Projects are renovations, repairs, and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications.
CIP funding highlights for Kauaʻi County include:
SCHOOLS
  • $3 million total for Kapaʻa High School, which includes parking lot, driveway, gymnasium, and site improvements
  • $2,050,000 for Kekaha Elementary School to include repair, maintenance, and renovation to buildings and facilities
  • $325,000 to repair and resurface Kilauea Elementary School's outdoor playcourt

HAWAII COUNTY RECEIVES $243.1 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS


Funding to benefit schools, hospitals, infrastructure, conservation projects


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives adjourned their 2019 session last week and passed $243.1 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 for various projects across Hawai‘i County.
Capital Improvement Project funds are used for renovations, repairs, and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications.
CIP funding highlights for Hawaiʻi County include:
SCHOOLS
  • $22.7 million for a classroom building and library at Haʻaheo Elementary School
  • $400,000 replacing the 2nd floor ceilings in Building L at Hilo Intermediate School
  • $300,000 for design for architectural barrier removal at Honokaʻa Elementary School
  • $200,000 for fire alarm wiring in Building D at Hoʻokena Elementary School

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

HOUSE VOTES TO SUPPORT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI ATHLETICS PROGRAM


Measure provides $4 million per fiscal year for student-athletes' expenses


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The Legislature has passed a bill providing $8 million in funding to support of the University of Hawaiʻi collegiate athletics program.
HB 1547 HD2 SD3 CD2 provides $4 million for fiscal year 2019-2020 and $4 million for fiscal year 2020-2021 to provide student-athletes with benefits as permitted by National Collegiate Athletics Association.
Representative Chris Todd, who wrote the bill, said the funds will benefit student-athletes across the UH system, including UH Hilo.
"The bill was conceived to provide meals for student-athletes, especially while traveling to the mainland to compete," said Rep. Todd (Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaʻewa, Waiākea). "Previously, athletes have only been provided with one meal a day. Providing meals is an important health and wellness issue for our young athletes and contributes greatly to their success."

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR DISTRICT 43 TOTAL $153 MILLION


Projects focus on agriculture, school, infrastructure construction


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) earmarked for House District 43 through 2021 include $153 million targeting agriculture, education, and infrastructure upgrades. Representative Stacelynn K.M. Eli (‘Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko ‘Olina, Kahe Point, Nānākuli, Lualualei, Mā‘ili) said this state investment will benefit everyone who lives in the West Oʻahu community.
"These CIP funds will help students, commuters, and everyone using Kalaeloa Airport and Farrington Highway on the Leeward Coast," said Eli. "Safety, education, and economic growth are among my top priorities. These funds will address some of the concerns in our community that has been overlooked for years.  I want to thank my colleagues in the legislature for their support."
The state CIP funds are earmarked for fiscal year 2019-2020 ($89 million) and fiscal year 2020-2012 ($64 million).
Projects include:
·         $13.4 million for facility improvements at Kalaeloa Airport
·        

Thursday, May 2, 2019

HOUSE PASSES 298 BILLS TO END PRODUCTIVE 2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Representatives reaffirm their oversight role, tackle difficult issues


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives today adjourned the 2019 regular legislative session sine die having passed a total of 298 bills including measures to make reforms in our prison and bail systems, streamline fair elections and increase voter turnout, fund kupuna caregivers and community college students, and continue the effort to end homelessness.
"The House took the lead in taking on the big initiatives this year which were successful," said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki. "The House has re-defined the Legislature's role as the policy making branch of state government. There is more to be done, and we will use this interim to develop priorities for next year."

Saiki said at the beginning of the session lawmakers were prepared to reaffirm their oversight role and ensure transparency and accountability by closely scrutinizing the administration's budget, carefully listening to public testimony, and approaching bills with a receptive mind ready to compromise.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

HOUSE BILL KEEPS FRONT STREET HOUSING AFFORDABLE


Rep. McKelvey's bill protects, expands home options for low income residents

The House today moved to ensure the continued availability of affordable rental housing on Maui, including the Front Street Apartments project and the Leialiʻi affordable housing project, by passing HB543 HD1 SD1 CD1.
Representative Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei), who was one of the bill's introducers, said it is critical to protect the limited affordable housing available on Maui.

HOUSE PASSES 206 BILLS ON FINAL DECKING


Measures include cannabis decriminalization, bail, Medicaid and election reforms


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – As the end of the 2019 legislative session approaches, the House is starting to take final votes on bills that have survived close scrutiny by both the House and Senate.
More than 3,000 bills were introduced this session and more than 200 bills will likely be sent to the Governor by the end of session May 2.
The House today passed 206 bills ranging from cannabis decriminalization to landmark Medicaid, bail, and election reforms, to clean transportation policies and measures that address Hawaiʻi's homeless and affordable housing crises. Once all the measures passed with a CD1 are also passed by the Senate, they will go to the Governor for approval or veto.
Measure highlights:
Medicaid
SB330 SD1 HD1 SD1 CD1  Individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid are often unable to earn an income and retain the benefits their lives depend on. "Kal's Law" requires the Department of Human Services to implement an Earned Income Disregard Program, which will disregard the income earned by otherwise Medicaid-eligible individuals with disabilities between 16 and 64 years old when determining their eligibility for Medicaid. This is intended as an interim step towards a Medicaid buy-in program.
Bail/Prisons
HB1552 HD2 SD2 CD1  Addresses overcrowded jails and brings equity to Hawaiʻi's system of bail by establishing a Hawaiʻi Correctional System Oversight Commission, implementing recommendations of the Criminal Pretrial Task Force, and establishing a Criminal Justice Institute within the office of the Chief Justice.


Monday, April 29, 2019

BILLS SUPPORT GROWTH OF ZERO-EMISSIONS ELECTRIC VEHICLE INDUSTRY


Clean transportation policies set to pass tomorrow promote sustainability, fight climate change


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – In passing bills supporting electric vehicle use in Hawaiʻi, the Legislature is paving the way for the state to take its first major steps toward implementing a strong clean transportation policy.
Representative Nicole E. Lowen, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environment and author of two of the bills, said the time has come for Hawaiʻi to transition away from fossil-fuel powered vehicles.
"In order to meet our emissions reduction goals, we must address the transportation sector, which accounts for two-thirds of Hawaiʻi's imported oil, and is not included in the 100 percent RPS requirement, which applies only to electric power generation."

Friday, April 26, 2019

COMMITTEE PASSES LANDMARK BAIL REFORM TO ADDRESS JAIL OVERCROWDING


Bill to thoroughly reform our system of handling people arrested, incarcerated

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – To address overcrowded jails and bring equity to our system of bail, House and Senate conferees today passed HB 1552 HD2 SD2 CD1, a landmark bill designed to take a thorough look at our system of handling people who are arrested and incarcerated.

Rep. Gregg Takayama (Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades), Chair of the House Public Safety, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, said the reform is long overdue.

"This measure will help create safer, smarter and more transparent systems of corrections and criminal justice in Hawaii," said Rep. Takayama.

The in-depth bill will:

Establish a Hawaiʻi Correctional System Oversight Commission
  • The Commission is responsible for helping transition to a more effective rehabilitative and therapeutic correctional system, investigating complaints, and examining best practices in other systems.
  • Five members of the Commission will be appointed by the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, Chief Justice, and OHA Chairperson.
  • An oversight coordinator will be appointed for two-year term by the Governor from a list submitted by the Commission.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

HOUSE AND SENATE CONFEREES PASS REMAINING EXECUTIVE BUDGET

New budget system allowed for closer scrutiny, more transparency

Honolulu, HawaiʻiHouse and Senate conferees passed additional appropriations for the executive branch today, HB116 SD1 CD1. The new budget process the Legislature has been utilizing this session allowed lawmakers to pass the executive operating budget, HB2 HD1 SD1 CD1, nearly a month earlier than previous sessions and provided time for closer scrutiny and discussion about individual budget items. HB116 SD1 CD1 is an addendum to HB2.

"By passing the governor's base operating budget early rather than in the dying moments of the session, we were able to engage in meaningful discussions on other critical funding requests," said Representative Sylvia Luke, chair of the House Committee on Finance. "HB116 is the result of these discussions and has led to a more efficient, transparent, and productive legislative session."

HB2 HD1 SD1 CD1 that passed earlier this session allocated $16 billion in operating funds; conferees today approved an additional $10,757,811 for FY20 and $9,045,621 for FY21 in HB116 SD1 CD1.

HB 116 SD1 CD1 Highlights:

Department of Agriculture
  • $79,998 to establish (1) full-time permanent business loan officer position to assist with agricultural loans and provide agricultural financial assistance.
  • $350,000 for food safety grants in fiscal year 2020.
  • $240,000 for agricultural development and marketing for Hawaiʻi specific agricultural surveys in fiscal year 2020.

HOUSE AND SENATE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE AGREES ON $3.4 BILLION CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT BUDGET


CIP funds for renovations, repairs, construction, land acquisition statewide


Honolulu, Hawaii – The House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Conference Committee today agreed on the Capital Improvement Project budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 totaling more than $3.4 billion. The bill now moves to the full House and Senate for a final vote.
HB 1259 SD1 CD1 contains the funding totals for all Capital Improvement Projects including renovations, repairs, and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications statewide.
Capital Improvement Projects Biennium Budget Totals (not including CIP grants-in-aid):

·         FY2020:          $1,022,811 billion General Obligation Bond Funds
·         FY2021:          $439,275 million General Obligation Bond Funds

·         FY2020:          $2,323,126 billion All Means of Financing
·         FY2021:          $1,154,258 billion All Means of Financing

CIP Highlights

Agriculture
·         $13.8 million to support irrigation systems statewide
o   $9.3 million FY21 for Molokaʻi Irrigation System
o   $2 million FY20 for Kauaʻi Irrigation systems
o   $2.5 million FY20 for Waimanalo Irrigation system
·         $19.4 million to support diversified agriculture and agriculture initiatives statewide
o   $1.7 million FY20 for improvements to the Kahuku Agricultural Park
o   $15 million FY20 for agricultural land acquisition
o   $1.1 million FY20 for improvements to the Honalo Marshalling Yard
o   $1.6 million FY20 for upgrades and infrastructure for a Kalaeloa Harvesting Facility

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

GOVERNOR RELEASES $1.9 MILLION TO BUY LAND FOR NEW WAIKOLOA PUBLIC LIBRARY


Representative David A. Tarnas

Honolulu, HawaiʻiGovernor David Ige has released $1.9 million in Capital Improvement Project funds to buy a 1.750-acre parcel for a new Waikoloa Public Library.
"I am very grateful to the Governor for releasing these funds to purchase the land where the future Waikoloa Public Library will be built," said Representative David A. Tarnas (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). "The Waikoloa community has been working on this project for many years, led by the dedicated volunteers of the Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region. We still have much to do and I know the Waikoloa community will continue the hard work needed for this project to succeed."

Once the parcel is purchased by the state, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment for the project and the public will have the opportunity to submit comments.  After that, the project will start its design phase during which the community can provide their advice about what should be included in the facility. 

"This will be more than just a library," said Rep. Tarnas. "It will be a gathering place for all members of the community to learn together and build strong bonds which support a healthy community."