Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Women's Legislative Caucus - Successful Measures

The Women's Legislative Caucus (WLC) announced today that six of the bills introduced in its 2008 legislative package have been approved by the House and Senate. In addition, one concurrent resolution also received House and Senate approval.

"Considering the small percentage of bills that pass compared to the number introduced, I am proud that the Women's Legislative Caucus has accomplished so much this session," said Caucus Co-chair Marilyn Lee. "The bipartisan work of the Caucus has helped us move forward with our goal of improving the lives of women and children. I am glad I could be a part of that effort. The legislation we sponsored, while focused on women and children, will benefit society as a whole."

The WLC's measures that passed the Legislature include:

HB2770 Expands the Bridge to Hope Program by clarifying that participants be in the First-to-Work Program and allowing participants to be enrolled in vocational education programs.

HB2761 Improves the health and welfare of women between pregnancies by requiring the provision of not less than six months of post-partum and interconception care for female participants of child-bearing age under the QUEST program.

HB2763 Re-establishes the Children of Incarcerated Parents Task Force, which ceased to exist on December 31, 2007, for a new term to last until December 31, 2011, to require annual task force reports to the Legislature.

SB2212 Based on recommendations of the Hawaii Anti-Trafficking Task Force. Among the provisions included in the bill are making it a crime of kidnapping in the first degree to intentionally or knowingly restrain another person with the intent to unlawfully obtain the labor or services of the person, regardless of whether a debt collection is involved, and to define "labor" and "services" accordingly and clarifies the elements of the offense of promoting prostitution in the first degree by adding a reference to "force, threat, or intimidation" and deleting "criminal coercion"; and applying the offense to a person who knowingly advances or profits from prostitution of a person who is less than eighteen years old.

SB2218 Requires electronic monitoring of persons convicted of violating a domestic abuse temporary restraining order or protective order.

HB2772 Continues the efforts to address human trafficking by extending the Hawaii Anti-Trafficking Task Force from June 30, 2008, to June 30, 2010.

HCR51 Requests the Department of Health to assess whether to require cervical cancer vaccinations for young women before they enter the seventh grade.

Members of the Women's Legislative Caucus are: Representatives Karen Leinani Awana, Della Au Belatti, Lyla Berg,Ph.D, Rida T. R. Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne W. L. Ching, Cindy Evans, Lynn Finnegan, Faye P. Hanohano, Sharon Har, Marilyn B. Lee, Sylvia J. Luke, Barbara C. Marumoto, Colleen Rose Meyer, Hermina M. Morita, Kymberly Pine, Maile S. L. Shimabukuro, Cynthia Thielen, and Senators Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Colleen Hanabusa, Lorraine R. Inouye, Donna Mercado Kim, Jill Tokuda.

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