Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #1
SB1358, SD2, HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY
Requires the Department of Public Safety to develop a plan to reopen the Kulani correctional facility, implement transfers, and house newly sentenced individuals by December 31, 2011. Report to 2012 legislature. (ESPERO)
SB48, SD1, HD1 RELATING TO CORRECTIONS
Specifies criteria that must be considered in deciding whether to transfer inmates between correctional facilities located in Hawaii and to transfer inmates from Hawaii to mainland facilities. Prohibits transfer of inmates to mainland with 12 months or less to serve before being eligible to be paroled. Also prohibits transfer of inmates within Hawaii and to the mainland who are diagnosed with serious medical or mental conditions. Effective July 1, 2011. (ESPERO)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #4
SB52, SD1, HD1 RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF SEX OFFENDERS
Requires persons convicted of violation of privacy in the first degree and all persons convicted of promoting prostitution in the first degree to register as sex offenders. Applies retroactively. (ESPERO)
COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMMERCE/COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
SB40, SD2, HD1 RELATING TO PSEUDOEPHEDRINE
Proposed HD2: Requires electronic tracking of distribution of pseudoephedrine or any drug containing pseudoephedrine. Requires report to Legislature prior to the 2012 Regular Session.
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #6
SB1270, SD2 RELATING TO THE HAWAII HURRICANE RELIEF FUND
Appropriates funds from the Hawaii hurricane relief fund to the general fund for the purpose of balancing the state budget in fiscal year 2011-2012; requires reimbursement to the Hawaii hurricane relief fund beginning in fiscal year 2013-2014. (TSUTSUI BR)
Rep. Jessica Wooley, chair of the House Committee on Culture and the Arts, talks about a couple of her favorite art pieces displayed in her office. The first one is "Blue Surfer," a pastel on black Arches paper, by Vicki Vierra. The second is a masterpiece by her 7-year-old son!
The public will be able to view this piece and other works of art on April 1, 2011 at the 3rd Annual Art at the Capitol from 5 - 7 p.m. This year's theme is "State of the Art" and will feature Doug Young, the local artist who designed Kapolei Court Complex's five multistory stained glass windows inspired by area ocean wave patterns, and is currently working on a glass floor project for the Hawaii State Art Museum.
Works of art are placed in public areas of the State Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts' "Art in Public Places" program, which seeks to enhance the environmental quality of state public buildings and spaces for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public; cultivate the public's awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual arts; contribute toward the development and recognition of a professional artistic community; and acquire, preserve, and display works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands, the multicultural heritage of its people, and the various creative interests of its artists. The program was established in 1967, and was the first program of its kind in the nation.
Monday, March 28, 2011
That's right, the Tominator, as he calls himself, has gone from Street Rapper to Singer-Songwriter to American Poet.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser published a report "Get a grip on the state budget" on Sunday, March 27 here. it covers the recent informational briefing by NCSL's Corina Eckl and Ron Snell.
In addition, the following piece by Rep. Marcus Oshiro was published by the Honolulu Star Advertiser on March 18, 2011.
"According to the March 10 projections from the Council on Revenues, Hawaii faces a nearly $1 billion deficit over the next two years. Our priorities at the Legislature are now even more challenging and are twofold: to balance the budget and to preserve essential services for the public.
In 2009, Hawaii closed a $2.1 billion deficit; about half was through budget cuts. In 2010, we closed an additional $1.2 billion deficit, and again, about half was through budget cuts. Consider that the Legislature closed a $3.3 billion deficit over the past two years and must now close a $1 billion deficit this year. The entire state general fund is about $5 billion.
The budget cuts taken in 2009 and 2010 affected the public through furloughs, a shortage of food safety inspectors, cuts in Child and Adult Protective Services initiatives and cuts to programs like Kupuna Care and Adult Day Care.
The spending cuts the House has proposed come from all areas of state government. These cuts include reductions to the public employees' retirement system and Medicaid benefits; reducing the number of health aides and counselors; and a salary decease for legislators, executive officers, judges and probably teachers and other employees.
However, to maintain the core services that the public demands, we cannot rely on budget cuts alone. The Legislature could eliminate the departments of Taxation, Agriculture, Attorney General, Human Resources, Labor, Land and Natural Resources, and Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and still not close the budget deficit.
In the budget bill passed by the House, we ended furloughs and provided for abused women, the handicapped, the aged and vulnerable children. Most of the increase in this fiscal year's budget pays for these essential services. It now falls to the governor and the labor unions to determine, through collective bargaining, whether furloughs will continue to be needed in the future.
Despite the cuts in government spending, there is still a need to increase revenue. The bills we have passed out of the House will generate an estimated $300 million per year. When we looked at revenue-generating bills, however, we protected low- to middle- income residents who can least afford higher expenses.
One of the bills that has generated much debate is House Bill 1092, House Draft 1, which taxes the pension income of individuals with a federally adjusted gross income of $100,000 per year, and couples or surviving spouses with a federal adjusted gross income of $200,000 per year. About 4,000 of Hawaii's 555,000 tax filers would be affected, less than 1 percent of Hawaii taxpayers.
No one wants to raise taxes. But if we must ask everyone to make a sacrifice, it should include those at high-income levels. We also considered that Hawaii is one of a handful of states that doesn't tax pensions; 40 states do. It is also a fact that retirees without employer-funded pensions are already taxed on their retirement income.
In these difficult economic times, especially in the wake of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami, we have to be willing to make sacrifices and consider all proposals to close the budget gap facing our economy. It may well get worse before it gets better.
The global economic crisis has made it clear that our economies will never be the same and that we must all adjust to a new normal.
Let's envision what we want Hawaii to look like when we recover from the recession, and work together toward that end."
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
This year’s Art at the Capitol theme is “State of the Art” and will feature renowned local artist Doug Young, who designed the Kapolei Court Complex’s five multistory art glass windows inspired by area ocean wave patterns. The theme is a play on the “State of the State” and a nod to the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts’ (SFCA) success in bringing art, culture and history to our visual surroundings and establishing programs that highlight local artists.
The YouTube link to the video series is http://www.youtube.com/artatthecapitolhi, and the Facebook page can be found by searching “Art at the Capitol” in the Facebook search bar. Make sure you log on to Facebook and like "Art at the Capitol"!
Check out the first installments of the series from Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Rep. Chris Lee and Sen. Brian Taniguchi.
SB219, SD1 RELATING TO CORRECTIONS
Prohibits physically restraining inmates who are pregnant or in postpartum recovery, unless extraordinary circumstances exist. (TOKUDA)
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS
INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING: The purpose of this informational briefing is to gain a better understanding of the Hawaii Professional Football League (HPFL). Discussion will revolve around what the HPFL's plans, business models, and how they intend to develop and expand in Hawaii and what effects it will have upon the economy of the State. Discussions will also include HPFL's community outreach plans the effect of player development into other nationally recognized leagues as well as possible marketing opportunities in sports tourism and economic development.
Governor Neil Abercrombie was the special guest last night at the Mid-session Forum held by Rep. Marcus Oshiro (District 39 - Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Launani Valley.) About 100 people from the district attended the annual event during which Rep. Oshiro provides an update on what's happening midway through the legislative session.
Read the Star-Advertiser's account of the meeting here.
And Civil Beat's story on the meeting is here.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Legislature is opening its doors for an evening of art, culture and history during downtown Honolulu's First Friday in March. This year’s theme is “State of the Art.” View over 460 works of public art, purchased through the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, showcased in state lawmakers' offices. Talk story with your state lawmakers and take a historical tour of the Capitol. Mingle with original artists and enjoy chamber music provided by student quartets.
For more information call (808) 587-7242 or email email@example.com.
First Friday, April 1, 2011
5 - 7 p.m.
Hawaii State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Monday, March 21, 2011
SB318, SD2 RELATING TO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN HAWAII
Amends the motion picture, digital media, and film production tax credits to increase the tax credits to unspecified percentages and dollar amounts and to provide additional non-refundable tax credits for qualified media infrastructure projects in certain qualifying counties; provides an additional tax credit for qualified special or visual effects and animation production costs; raises the tax credit caps to unspecified amounts. (GALUTERIA)
SB1355, SD1 RELATING TO TAXATION
Adopts amendments to Hawaii tax laws to implement the streamlined sales and use tax agreement; with section 32, creating a committee to oversee the department of taxation's implementation and administration of, and compliance with the streamlined sales and use tax agreement, to take effect on approval. (CHUN OAKLAND)
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
SB1493, SD1, HD1 RELATING TO LIGHT POLLUTION
Requires every new and replacement outdoor light fixtures to be fully shielded beginning on July 1, 2013, with certain exemptions. Defines fully shielded. Effective July 1, 2011. (ESPERO)
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
SB40, SD2 RELATING PSEUDOEPHEDRINE
Reclassifies pseudoephedrine as a schedule V drug that may only be dispensed with a prescription with certain exceptions; makes conforming amendments. Requires retail sellers of drugs containing pseudoephedrine to remove these drugs from their over-the-counter inventories no later than 7/1/2011. (BAKER)
SB1086, SD1 RELATING TO CONSUMER INFORMATION
Requires sliced, sandwich-style bread products that have been baked and then frozen to be labeled "previously frozen". Prohibits bread that has been frozen to be labeled or advertised as "fresh". (HEE)
COMMITTEE ON LABOR & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT/COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES
SB229, SD1 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
Prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or applicant for employment based upon the employee's or the applicant's domestic abuse victim status; provided that the domestic abuse victim notifies the employer of such status. (BAKER)
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH/COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
SB596, SD2 RELATING TO HAWAII HEALTH CORPS
Establishes the Hawaii health corps program to provide loan repayments on behalf of eligible physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in any county having a shortage of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, with priority given to those serving in rural areas. Provides for loan repayments by the University of Hawaii John A. Burns school of medicine and the University of Hawaii at Manoa school of nursing and dental hygiene. Creates the Hawaii health corps revolving fund. Makes appropriations to support accreditation efforts and support and expand residency programs, particularly in family medicine. (GREEN)
COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
SB671, SD2 RELATING TO ETHICS
PROPOSED HD1: Allows legislators and employees to accept certain invitations or tickets from a charitable entity, regardless of whether the charitable entity is the host or sponsor of the event. Requires these invitations and tickets to be reported to the Ethics Commission, regardless of their value. Effective upon its approval.
SB934, SD2, HD1 RELATING TO BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING
Establishes a bullying and cyberbullying policy for all public schools. Requires implementation of the policy in all public schools. Establishes bullying and cyberbullying reporting requirements for all public schools. Defines "bullying" and "cyberbullying". Requires the department of education and the charter school review panel to report to the legislature annually. (KIDANI)
SB1187, SD1 PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE V, SECTION 6, OF THE HAWAII STATE CONSTITUTION TO PROVIDE FOR THE ELECTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Proposes amendment to article V, section 6, of the state constitution to provide that the attorney general be elected as a nonpartisan elected official rather than appointed by the governor. (KIM)
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thus it is in my purview as the Chair of the Committee on Housing that all monies appropriated directly benefits our people of Hawai`i by rapidly re-housing our homeless individuals. Through the myriad of studies, taskforces, coalitions, and other such similar endeavors, we know about the current homeless situation in Hawai`i as well as best practices and successes from other areas in the nation and the world. Therefore it would be a misuse of funds to replicate studies that have already been done and to re-educate ourselves on things we already know. We know that training and educating is more effective after stabilization, which is a major concept of the Housing First program. Therefore, what is truly needed is action, not studies or taskforces or other such programs. All monies appropriated should be used to rapidly re-house our homeless community. This is my top priority as well as it should be a priority for departments throughout government. Homelessness is an issue concerning human rights. Homelessness is an issue concerning our communities’ health, safety, and finances. Homelessness is an issue of paramount concern for the individuals and families affected, the surrounding neighborhoods and communities, as well as the entire State of Hawai`i.
The United States has long held itself as being exceptional—a champion, a pioneer, and the defender of human rights. Hawai`i, with all our aloha, purports similar characteristics with our strong commitment to native Hawaiian values in pursuing what is pono. International Human Rights Law has evolved from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights to consisting of nine core treaties and various optional protocols, declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules, and recommendations. Under these laws, it is a right of each and every individual to have access to the basic necessities to live, including shelter. If we are to hold true to our own espoused values, we must act to the best of our abilities to satisfy the commitments and obligations as noted under the laws of human rights.
The homeless community and the community at large are continually ill served. For one reason or another, members of the homeless community continue to cohabitate in public areas. Lacking adequate facilities, extremely unsanitary conditions permeate throughout the State. Not only is the community assailed with the overwhelming stench, but worse is that homeless individuals are forced to live in it due to lack of "agreeable options". The health of the individuals in the immediate areas are seriously jeopardized. Increasingly punitive measures and treating the homeless as opala do not work and does not help address this situation. Initiatives such as creating safe havens and housing first do work and it alleviates the serious health risks involved.
Furthermore, due to the extreme vulnerability of the members of the homeless community, homeless individuals are commonly preyed upon and are victims of violence. Sometimes this violence spills over into the neighboring community. Whether one has a home or not, being subjected to such acts of violence is intolerable. Action needs to be taken. Once again, creating safe havens and implementing the housing first program will alleviate these security and safety concerns.
Many hidden costs to homelessness exist. There are exhorbent societal costs as well as the costs the State must cover in hospital bills and incarceration. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association the housing first program in Seattle at 1811 Eastlake saved taxpayers more than $4 million dollars in cost avoidance. Before instituting the program, the median costs per person who was chronically homeless was $4066 per month. 6 months after the implementation of the housing first program, the median costs per person who benefited from this program dramatically dropped to $1492 per month. After 12 months, the median costs per person further dropped to $958 per month.
The human rights of the people of Hawai`i is being trampled and ignored. The health and safety of the concerned individuals as well as the community at large are threatened. The finances of the State are continuing to be misspent. We have received a myriad of studies and reports concerning the homeless situation in Hawai`i as well as best practices and successes from other areas. I believe we are well-equipped with sufficient mana`o to tackle this issue. Therefore, it is in my purview as the Chair of the Committee on Housing that all bills actively address the situation on hand, that all monies appropriated go directly to servicing the homeless community and community at large rather than increasing the size and bureaucracy of government. Specifically, all monies appropriated should be used to directly house homeless individuals wherein after the rapid re-housing of the homeless can we begin training and educating. This approach will address all the aforementioned aspects. We will affect change and do good by all our peoples of Hawai`i.
SB1328, SD1 RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Allows for an unspecified increase in the State motor vehicle registration fee and deposits the money into the State Highway Fund. (TSUTSUI BR)
SB1329, SD1 RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE WEIGHT TAX
Allows for increase in the State motor vehicle weight tax and deposits the money into the State Highway Fund. (TSUTSUI BR)
SB1324, SD2 RELATING TO RENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE SURCHARGE TAX
Adjusts the rental motor vehicle surcharge tax. Makes appropriation from the state highway fund. (TSUTSUI BR)
COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES/COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
SB1468, SD2 RELATING TO HEALTH
Establishes the Hawaii patient centered health home pilot program. Establishes the Hawaii medicaid modernization and innovation council to design and implement the program. Council ceases to exist on 6/30/13. (CHUN OAKLAND)
COMMITTEE ON TOURISM
SB769, SD1 RELATING TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Provides a tax credit for qualified hotel and resort property construction and renovations costs incurred after December 31, 2010, and before January 1, 2015. (FUKUNAGA)
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION/COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
SB698, SD2 RELATING TO ROADWAY MATERIALS
Clarifies that state agencies may purchase roadway materials with a minimum recycled glass content. Allows use of minimum glass of ten per cent crushed glass aggregate in all basecourse and subbase. (DELA CRUZ)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
SB1174, SD2 RELATING TO CHARTER SCHOOLS
Requires charter school budget requests for needs-based facilities funding to include a detailed explanation as to the formula used and the funding request breakdown by school. Allows charter schools to appeal charter revocations and denied reauthorizations to BOE. Requires charter schools and their local school boards to develop internal policies and procedures on ethics. Requires the Charter School Review Panel to conduct a multi-year evaluation of each charter school every six years. Establishes separate task forces to (1) determine a needs-based facilities funding formula for charter schools and (2) address issues on charter school governance, accountability, and authority. (TOKUDA)
SB605, SD2 RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Restructures the department of education into two major divisions – the academic achievement division and the administration division – and establishes two senior deputy superintendent positions to head the divisions. (KIM)
SB810, SD1 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Requires the department of education to establish high school diploma requirements that aim to establish college and career readiness. Requires the department of education to report to the legislature prior to the regular session of 2012. (TOKUDA)
SB1487, SD1 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Authorizes the department of education to close or consolidate existing schools in conformance with applicable administrative rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91, HRS. Requires the department of education to give notice to affected schools of closure or consolidation; provided that an affected school may remain open if it meets certain requirements within one year of the notice of closure or consolidation. (TOKUDA)
COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMMERCE
SB1506, SD2, HD1 RELATING TO HEALTH
Establishes the Childhood Obesity Pilot Program and requires insurers to cover childhood obesity as a billable provider visit for services rendered by participating health care providers. Requires the Department of Health to work with Hawaii Primary Care Association to develop parameters and implementation guidelines for the program. Requires the Childhood Obesity Pilot Program provider participants to submit a report to the Department of Health and the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2015 Regular Session. (GREEN)
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION/COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMMERCE
SB367, SD3 RELATING TO ENERGY
PROPOSED HD1: Establishes a regulatory structure for the installation and implementation of an interisland high voltage electric transmission cable system and for the construction of on-island transmission infrastructure. Allows for the utility company to collect surcharges from its ratepayers to recover the costs of the cable installation on behalf of the cable company. Exempts the surcharges from being counted as gross income, adjusted gross income, or taxable income for tax purposes. Provides for the eventual acquisition of the cable system by the utility company from the cable company. Allows the utility company to recover the costs of acquiring the cable system and developing the on island infrastructure through an automatic rate adjustment clause and then through its rates. Allows the utility to recover the reasonable costs, as determined by the public utilities commission, of predevelopment and development in the event that the system is not completed. (GALUTERIA)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
SB582, SD2 RELATING TO COUNTY MUTUAL AID
Establishes a mutual aid agreement of assistance among the counties to provide potable water and non-potable water to another county during times of emergency. Establishes the Hawaii statewide mutual aid system to provide integrated statewide mutual aid response capability between counties in times of disaster. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD2) (TSUTSUI)
SB608, SD2 RELATING TO PUBLIC LANDS
Authorizes the department of land and natural resources to consider the exchange of Sand Island parcels to leaseholders; requires a report of findings and recommendation to the legislature. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD2) (KIM)
SB1555, SD2 RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Establishes a public corporation to administer an appropriate and culturally-sensitive public land development program; allows the limited issuance of commercial use permits for vessels with assigned moorings in Ala Wai and Keehi harbors; provides for future mooring fees to be established by appraisal by a state-licensed appraiser; and directs the department of land and natural resources to use the request for proposals process to enter into a public-private partnership for the development of portions of Ala Wai small boat harbor facilities that are presently under-used to maximize the revenue potential from its facilities. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) ($) (DELA CRUZ)
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
SB1538, SD1 RELATING TO HEALTH
Directs the department of health and state civil defense to report to the legislature on progress in implementing the recommendations of the statewide dialysis emergency plan. Appropriates funds to upgrade dialysis facilities and implement the plan. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) ($) (TOKUDA)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY & MILITARY AFFAIRS
SB49, SD1 RELATING TO CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
Requires the department of public safety to report to the legislature any inmate or correctional facility employee death within 48 hours. (SD1) (ESPERO)
SB1358, SD2 RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY
Requires the department of public safety to develop a plan to reopen the Kulani correctional facility, implement transfers, and house newly sentenced individuals by 12/31/2011. Report to 2012 legislature. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (ESPERO)
SB171, SD2 RELATING TO FIREWORKS
Bans the ignition, possession, selling, and use of aerial luminaries. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (ESPERO)
SB172, SD2 RELATING TO FIREWORKS
Amends provisions of the fireworks code, imposing new definitions and permitting, importation, labeling, and inspection requirements. Authorizes the fire chief to revoke or suspend permits for enumerated reasons. (SD2) (ESPERO)
SB173 RELATING TO FIRE PROTECTION
Prohibits the retail sale or distribution of novelty lighters within the State. (SD2) (ESPERO)
SB782 RELATING TO DANGEROUS WEAPONS
Prohibits any person from possessing, constructing, setting off, igniting, discharging, or otherwise causing to explode any homemade explosive device. Establishes a violation of this prohibition as a class C felony. (SD2) (IGE)
COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
SB110, SD2 RELATING TO INTOXICATING LIQUOR VIOLATIONS INVOLVING MINORS
Establishes immunity from prosecution for consumption of intoxicating liquor by a minor if the minor summons medical treatment for another minor who requires such treatment as a result of consuming liquor. Also provides that immunity may be provided to the intoxicated minor and one or two other minors assisting the summoning minor. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (GALUTERIA)
SB1068, SD1 RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY
Provides that killing, or attempting to kill, the animal of another person without that person's consent constitutes animal cruelty in the first degree. Adds exemptions for animal cruelty in the first degree. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) (HEE)
SB1069, SD1 RELATING TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Establishes the offense of cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the second degree. Increases penalty for cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the first degree. Clarifies dog fighting and animal cruelty laws. (SD1) (HEE)
SB1533, SD1 RELATING TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Clarifies that a person commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree if the person kills without need any animal other than insects or rodents, deleting "vermin or other pests" from this exception. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) (SHIMABUKURO)
SB52, SD1 RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF SEX OFFENDERS
Requires persons convicted of violation of privacy in the first degree to register as sex offenders. Applies retroactively. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) (ESPERO)
When not working, Representative Tom Brower’s favorite hobbies at the Capitol are art, poetry and songwriting. He is also an avid photographer.
This photo is one of several outtakes he took for the 2011 House staff directory. In order to save taxpayer money, Rep. Brower tries not to hire too many session staff (among other cost-saving practices).
For the backdrop, Rep. Brower brought his favorite checkerboard sheet (bought from a local thrift store).
Practical props are also famous fixtures in his office: his muse, Attila, a gnome stool by Kartell, is also the office butler. The gunmetal gray Marais A chair by Tolix is based on designs from WWII French cafes. The charcoal portrait was given to him by a freestyle artist in the building.
Committee Clerk Lauren is standing on her head (maybe) next to Office Manager Cynthia (also the staff curator).
"We are proud to be in Office and work to keep it clean and colorful (like the Representative)," said Rep. Brower. “Studio 315” has a motif of bold and intense design and art. Vibrant hues sprawl the office showcasing a montage of works that range from photography, wall art, origami and furniture.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
SB643, SD2 RELATING TO EXCESSIVE SPEEDING
Authorizes the court to order forfeiture of any vehicle owned by the defendant if it was used in the commission of the excessive speeding offense and if the defendant has at least two prior excessive speeding convictions. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (KIDANI)
COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
SB249, SD2 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Appropriates funds to DOA to acquire a slaughterhouse within the Campbell Industrial Park on the island of Oahu; to fund necessary construction, renovation, and improvement projects; and to purchase equipment for the slaughterhouse. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD2) ($) (DELA CRUZ)
SB281, SD2 RELATING TO ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Authorizes the use or rental of animal quarantine property or facilities for commercial purposes. Establishes the animal industry special fund. Makes an appropriation. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) ($) (KAHELE)
COMMITTEE ON HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS/COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY & MILITARY AFFAIRS
SB284, SD2 RELATING TO CORRECTIONS
Establishes and appropriates funds for a program within DPS that assigns non-violent inmates to a work detail that restores historical sites selected by OHA. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) ($) (KAHELE)
COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMMERCE/COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
SB651, SD2 RELATING TO MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES
Requires foreclosing mortgagees to engage in a dispute resolution process at the election of a mortgagor before carrying out a judicial or nonjudicial power of sale foreclosure; authorizes the supreme court to adopt rules for dispute resolution; establishes a special fund for foreclosure dispute resolution to be expended by the judiciary; imposes a moratorium on foreclosures for 6 months after effective date; makes appropriation. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (BAKER)
SB652, SD2 RELATING TO MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES
Implements recommendations of the mortgage foreclosure task force relating to service of notice, conversion from nonjudicial to judicial foreclosure, the bar against deficiency judgments, notice of pendency of action, and extinguishment of the mortgagor's interest pursuant to the old nonjudicial foreclosure law. Requires a 21 day notice of foreclosure to insurers of the subject property. Requires public sale of property after a nonjudicial power of sale foreclosure to be held at the state building in the county seat of the county where the property is located or, for the city and county of Honolulu, at the state building designated by the department of accountings and general services. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (BAKER)
SB1519, SD3 RELATING TO MORTGAGE ORIGINATORS
Amends the secure and fair enforcement for mortgage licensing act to require all mortgage loan originators to work under the sponsorship of a registered entity; specifies standards for processing denied, abandoned, and withdrawn applications; specifies additional prohibited practices and prohibited loan terms; specifies duties and qualifications for supervisory staff of sponsoring entities; restricts fees payable to a licensee; clarifies confidentiality provisions for applications; establishes licensing fees for sponsoring entities; makes conforming amendments. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD3) (GALUTERIA)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
SB934, SD2 RELATING TO BULLYING AND CYBERBULLYING
Establishes a bullying and cyberbullying policy for all public schools. Requires implementation of the policy in all public schools. Establishes bullying and cyberbullying reporting requirements for all public schools. Establishes a misdemeanor offense of bullying or cyberbullying a minor. Defines "bullying" and "cyberbullying". Requires the department of education and the charter school review panel to report to the legislature annually. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (KIDANI)
SB1385, SD2 RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL LANDS
Establishes the public school lands trust to provide for the maximum use of public school lands in order to generate income to improve public school facilities and infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Requires that any sale of land from the public school lands trust be approved by no less than two thirds of each house of the legislature. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD2) ($) (TOKUDA)
SB1485, SD1 RELATING TO RECONSTITUTING SCHOOLS
Allows the superintendent of education to reconstitute a public school, except for certain charter schools. Allows the superintendent to recommend actions to the charter school review panel, including the revocation of a school's charter. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) (TOKUDA)
SB1375, SD1 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Requires multi-track public schools to have a school year of at least 171 days or a specified percentage of the minimum days for other non-charter public schools and a certain percentage of the minimum student instructional hours. Requires DOE to submit to the legislature a plan to implement a school year for multi-track schools beginning with the 2015-2016 school year of a certain percentage of the minimum instructional days and hours required of other non-charter public schools. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1) (KIDANI)
SB1384, SD2 RELATING TO EDUCATION
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, requires children in public or private kindergarten programs to be assessed by an early learning educator prior to entering first grade to ensure the child is qualified to enter the first grade. Requires any assessment conducted by a private kindergarten program to be certified by the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools or the early learning council. Requires children who do not attend kindergarten to be assessed by DOE prior to entering first grade in a public school. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) (TOKUDA)
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today was the 5th Annual Hawaiian Caucus Day at the Hawaii State Capitol. It included vendor exhibits on the second and third floor, pa'i'ai-making demonstrations in in the Rotunda, and a certificate floor presentations to honor four individuals who have selflessly served their community and contributed to the overall well-being of the State.
The House presented certificates of recognition to:
Jerry Konanui, a Native Hawaiian Mahi'ai from Pahoa who is a renowned and respected Hawaiian Kupuna with extensive knowledge on the cultivation sand propagation of kalo, awa, ko and 'uala. He is credited with finding several varieties of Hawaiian kalo which were previously thought to be extinct and in recent years has been involved with the Hawaiian and taro farming communities’ efforts to restore and perpetuate Hawaii’s endemic food and medicinal plants and protect them from genetic modification;
Shad Kane has been an instrumental leader in the Hawaiian community as well as the Kapolei and Makakilo areas through his involvement with numerous organizations such as the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club, the Royal Order of Kamehameha Ekahi, the O’ahu Island Burial Council, the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board, and the West Qahu Employment Corporation. He has worked tirelessly to give the new “Second City” of Kapolei a strong Hawaiian cultural presence and has additionally worked for the preservation of our island’s cultural, historical and environmental heritage. More affectionately known as Uncle Shad Kane, he has also been devoted to the promotion of job creation, recreational opportunities and civic involvement in the West O’ahu area.
Leina'ala Kalama Heine, a powerful influential figure in hula who is from Waimanalo has not only partaken in the annual presentation of the Merrie Monarch Festival as a competitor and judge, but she has also dedicated her life to the preservation of Hawaiian culture through the perpetuation of hula and preparing women to become future kumu hula and practitioners who aspire to carry on the traditions of mele oh
and mele hula.
Kupuna Dorothy Kanani Awai, of Haleiwa, is recognized for her endless sharing and giving of her aloha and musical talents, giving her time, love, and support to numerous community events for decades. As a Hawaiian studies teacher and an ukulele instructor, Kupuna Awai has blessed our keiki with her mana’o, planted seeds of aloha, and taught the fundamentals of traditional Hawaiian music thereby perpetuating Hawaiian culture for our future generations. Truly, Kupuna Awai embraces and embodies the spirit of aloha.
SB1161, S1 RELATING TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Exempts broadband infrastructure improvements from state or county permitting requirements for five years. Exempts telecommunications companies from replacing existing utility poles when installing new or improving existing telecommunications cables. Takes effect 7/1/2050. (SD1) (FUKUNAGA)
SB1522, SD2 RELATING TO DOGS
Establishes requirements for licensure and regulation of large-scale dog breeders. Effective 7/1/2012. (SD2) (HEE)
SB112, SD1 RELATING TO TOURISM
Appropriates funds in FY 2011-2012 and FY 2012-2013 for the application of a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration to establish space tourism in Hawaii. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD1) ($) (ESPERO)
SB757, SD2 RELATING TO SMALL BUSINESS
Reestablishes the Hawaii capital loan revolving fund; requires that principal and interest payments being made on outstanding loans be deposited into the fund; authorizes the department of business, economic development, and tourism to contract with financial institutions for servicing or administering loans; appropriates funds for the operations of the Hawaii capital loan program. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) ($) (FUKUNAGA)
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
SB239, SD2 RELATING TO THE HAWAII TOBACCO SETTLEMENT SPECIAL FUND
Extends the appropriation by a decreasing annual amount of a portion of Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund moneys for annual operating expenses of JABSOM until 06/30/2015. Increases the portion of Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund moneys going to the general fund until 06/30/2015; and adds annual reporting requirements for JABSOM. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2) ($) (TOKUDA)
SB414, SD3 RELATING TO THE HAWAII HEALTH SYSTEMS CORPORATION
Authorizes the Hawaii health systems corporation to mortgage its real property and clarifies that the dollar cap on municipal leasing authority applies to each regional system. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD3) (GALUTERIA)
SB1506, SD2 RELATING TO HEALTH
Establishes the childhood obesity pilot program and requires insurers to cover childhood obesity as a billable provider visit for services rendered by participating health care providers. Appropriates funds for the administration of the childhood obesity pilot program. Requires the childhood obesity pilot program provider participants to submit a report to the department of health and the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2015 regular session. Effective 7/1/50. (SD2) ($) (GREEN)
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
SB725, SD2 RELATING TO SOLID WASTE
Applies the solid waste disposal surcharge to waste that is deposited in landfills, incinerators, or waste-to-energy facilities, whether the waste is disposed of in-state or transferred out-of-state. Effective 07/01/2050. (SD2) (GABBARD)
COMMITTEE ON HEALTH/COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY & MILITARY AFFAIRS
SB1458, SD2 RELATING TO HEALTH
Creates three classes of medical marijuana licenses: class 1 medical marijuana compassion center license for the sale of medical marijuana to qualified patients; class 2 medical marijuana cultivation license; class 3 medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing license. Specifies requirements for each class. Makes medical marijuana sales subject to income and excise taxes. Establishes a fee for issuance and renewal of a license and a special marijuana sales tax. Takes effect 7/1/2050. (SD2) (ENGLISH)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING: State budget shortfalls and unfunded liabilities of pension systems.
Corina Eckl, Fiscal Program Director, NCSL will provide an update of:
· Current fiscal conditions of all states
· Strategies being employed to meet budget shortfalls
· Budget structural challenges
Ron Snell, Senior Fellow, NCSL, will provide a briefing on:
· Status of pension systems in all states
· Legislation being proposed in states to deal with issues such as unfunded liabilities
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
STRONGLY URGING THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FEDERAL AID TO THE STATE OF HAWAII FOR THE PROVISION OF VARIOUS STATE SERVICES TO MIGRANTS FROM THE COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION NATIONS; DEEM MIGRANTS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FEDERALLY FUNDED FINANCIAL AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE; AND PROVIDE DIALYSIS AND CHEMOTHERAPY CENTERS IN MICRONESIA AND ALL AREAS WITHIN THE COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION NATIONS.
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS/COMMITTEE ON TOURISM
INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING: The purpose of this info brief is to allow the APEC Hawaii 2011 Host Committee to provide an update on measures being performed in preparation for the event scheduled for November 8-13, 2011.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
HB400 RELATING TO THE BUDGET OF THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
Appropriates funds for the operating and capital improvement budget of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. ($) (SAY BR)
HB300, HD1 RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY
Appropriates funds for the judiciary for the fiscal biennium beginning July 1, 2011, and ending on June 30, 2013. Effective July 1, 2011. (HB300 HD1) ($) (SAY BR)
HB200 RELATING TO THE STATE BUDGET
State budget. (SAY BR)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING – The Department of Education will discuss their current and upcoming Capital Improvement (CIP)and construction projects.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Written by Lauren Easley, committee clerk
Last week Representative Tom Brower joined fellow House and Senate members in a two-day, on-site, agricultural field trips across the island.
For Rep. Brower, the highlights were learning about natural farming and aquaponics. Both are techniques which are very similar to the ways early Hawaiians grew and cultivated their crops. Science has recently validated the success of food grown this way, which has proven to be more nutritious and of higher quality.
At the site visit to Mountain View Dairy in Waianae, Rep. Brower learned about "natural farming." In this context, "natural farming" comes from Han Kyu Cho ("Dr. Cho") of South Korea. He works with the organization, Natural Farming Hawaii, to educate backyard farmers and commercial farmers alike on the many benefits of switching to self- sufficient farming.
To fully utilize the concept of self-sufficient farming, you must use only resources found within the farm. In this way, you benefit by cutting down extra expenditures on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. What replaces them? The use of natural fertilizers such as eggshells and fish bones contains minerals amino acids which lend support to enrich the soil. Indigenous microorganisms in the dirt also help to keep the crops nourished; bacteria, fungi, and protozoa can go a long way. Ultimately, a more rich and saturated soil can reduce the amount of water spent on the crops.
Beyond natural farming in the agricultural aspect, livestock can also partake in the process. Cho has also found ways to reduce the smell, flies, and cleaning requirements in pig farms. A dry litter is used to soak up the waste left by the pigs, and the waste is then left to break down the manure. Microorganisms which are cultivated in the soil aid in the manure break down process. The pigs are also fed with self-sufficient goods; agricultural waste such as sweet potatoes, macadamia nuts, and bananas are used.
At the site visit to the Marine Agrifuture in Kahuku, Rep. Brower learned how the ponds, which are used to cultivate sea asparagus and ogo, create a symbiotic relationship which essentially fertilizes each other crop on their own. The micro algae generated by the sea asparagus helps the ogo to grow in cleaner water, and in turn, the ogo increases the oxygen needed for the sea asparagus to grow.
Self- sufficient farming is a way that Hawaii can learn to grow, and to minimize costs spent on cultivating agricultural goods. As the Chair of the committee on Tourism, Representative Brower hopes to raise interest in a new form of tourism that is taking off, agritourism. Agtourism draws visitors to tours, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, fairs, and festivals that are centered on local agricultural businesses.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
You can learn more about her this Sunday, March 6th, when Rep. Morikawa appears as the guest on the next "Kukui Connection" hosted and produced by Rep. Marilyn Lee. The show airs at 4:30 p.m. on Olelo, Channel 54. Here are some highlights:
Rep. Morikawa worked for the County of Kauai for 36 years, starting immediately after high school. She spent many years at the County's Department of Parks and Recreation where she learned she had an affinity for the game of golf. She coaches girls golf at Waimea High School and one of the highlights of her golfing career was making a hole-in-one at the Jennie K tournament.
Rep. Morikawa is vice chair of the House Health Committee and serves on the committees of Finance, Hawaiian Affairs, and Human Services.
She represents District 16 which includes the communities of Polihale, Waimea, Kokee, and Poipu on the island of Kauai. The remote island of Ni'ihau is also in the district. Rep. Morikawa has never been to Ni'ihau and would love to get an invitation by the Robinson family some day.
This episode of Kukui Connection repeats on March 13th.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
SB101, SD1 RELATING TO HEALTH
Exempts the preparation of hand-pounded poi from certain processing requirements and from department of health regulation regarding food safety. Imposes labeling requirements on hand-pounded poi made outside of certified food processing establishments. Authorizes the department of health to conduct inspections of hand-pounded poi producer's premises under certain conditions. (SD1) (SHIMABUKURO)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #1
HB1307, HD1 RELATING TO TAXATION
Provides a temporary tax credit for residential construction and remodeling projects. Requires a report to the legislature comparing the impact on jobs and the state budget for various tax credit applications. Effective July 1, 2112. (HB1307 HD1) (HAR)
HB1642, HD1 RELATING TO HIGH TECHNOLOGY
Extends the income tax credit for qualified research activities for five years and places an annual aggregate cap on the tax credit. Effective July 1, 2112. (HB1642 HD1) (YAMASHITA)
HB1308, HD1 RELATING TO DIGITAL MEDIA
Establishes digital media enterprise subzones as unspecified geographic areas surrounding University of Hawaii campuses that are also designated as enterprise zones. Establishes tax benefits for digital media infrastructure development and operation. (HD1) (HAR)
HB1551, HD1 RELATING TO TAX CREDITS
Amends the motion picture, digital media, and film production tax credit to remove tax credit caps. Establishes a non-refundable tax credit with a carry forward period of up to ten years to encourage media infrastructure development. Permits certain production tax credits to be assigned. Effective 7/1/2112. (HD1) (BROWER)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #3
HB575 RELATING TO SALARIES
Extends the 5% legislative salary decrease from 06/30/2011, to 06/30/2013. (CULLEN)
HB795 RELATING TO TAXATION PROPOSED HD1
Places a limit on the amount of transient accommodations tax revenues distributed to the counties. Effective 07/01/2011 and sunsets 06/30/2015. (HD1 Proposed) (SAY)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #4
HB1071, HD1 RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH RELEASE ON CONDITIONS OF A PERSON FOUND UNFIT TO STAND TRIAL
Requires the Department of Health to provide a fitness restoration program for defendants unfit to proceed with court proceedings and on conditional release, and to report information regarding defendant's plan and compliance to the prosecutor of the county where the defendant was charged. Effective January 7, 2059. (HB1071 HD1) (SAY BR)
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – AGENDA #5
HB467, HD1 RELATING TO WHISTLEBLOWERS’ PROTECTION
Provides additional protection to public employees who report violations of the law or government contracts. Expands the department of labor and industrial relations' responsibilities regarding whistleblowers. Effective January 7, 2059 (HB467 HD1) (WOOLEY)
COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
HB1407 RELATING TO ADOPTION RECORDS
Amends provisions of the code relating to adoption records and the secrecy of proceedings and records, allowing access to adoption records by parties to the proceedings under certain circumstances. (JORDAN BR)
HB1200 RELATING TO INFORMATION PRACTICES
Authorizes the release of names and salaries of undercover officers after five years from when the undercover officer ceases to work in an undercover capacity. Defines "undercover capacity" and "undercover officer". (YAMANE)