Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Legislature Unanimously Passes State Budget

The Hawaii State Legislature today voted unanimously in both the House and Senate to approve the state budget for the upcoming FY2013-2015 biennium.

HB200 CD1 appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the biennium fiscal years FY2013-2014 and FY2014-2015.

For FY2013-2014, the bill offers $6 billion in general funds and $11.8 billion in all other means of financing.  For FY2014-2015, it appropriates $6.1 billion in general funds and $12 billion in all additional financing means. It also provides over $3 billion in funding for capital improvement projects (CIP) and $30 million Grants-In-Aid for non-profit organizations.

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa) acknowledged that the fiscal outlook is looking positive but reiterated the importance of financial prudency, “our economy is recovering and while we have the money, it is now time to take a measured approach towards our State’s financial plan. This means passing a budget that takes care of our current needs, while also taking care of our financial obligations and reinvests in our future," said Luke. “In this budget, we kept our promise to recapitalize the Hurricane Relief Fund and Rainy Day Funds and we have taken significant steps towards reducing our unfunded liabilities.”

The financial plan includes an addition of $160 million into the Hurricane Relief Fund and $50 million into the Rainy Day Fund. Most importantly, it includes appropriations of $217 million in the next biennium to begin payments towards the State’s unfunded liability and will continue to allocate funds every year ending in an allocation of $500 million in FY2019.

"We used the projected surplus to strengthen economic drivers to ensure increased revenue returns.  To help the construction industry, the budget bill authorizes more than $1.3 billion in general obligation bond authorization for capital improvement projects statewide.  Additionally, to support our number one industry our financial plan includes an $11 million increase to the Hawaii Tourism Authority to strengthen the marketing of Hawaii as a visitor destination.  We also appropriated $6 million to assist our growing high technology industry in investment start ups and tax credits for research and development," said Luke.

Other funding highlights include:

Agriculture (AGR)
  • Added $750,000 in general funds for the New Farmer Loan Program in FY14.  This funding will enhance opportunities for new farmers to grow, while also supporting the State in becoming more food self-sufficient.
  • Added 10 positions and nearly $1.2 million over the biennium to the Plant, Pest, and Disease Control division to support the Apiary program on Maui, Kauai, and Kona, and various other programs aimed at protecting local agriculture from invasive species, as well as the Hawaii Queen Bee industry.

Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC)
  • Added 2 temporary positions and over $300,000 in special funds each year for the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program, which handles disputes between owner-occupants and lenders.
  • Added $190,000 in special and trust funds over the biennium to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for public service campaigns aimed at educating consumers on a broad spectrum of consumer issues, including the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors.

Economic Development and Business (EDB)
  • Provided 3.69 temporary positions and $3 million in special funds over the biennium for the Hawaii State Energy Office Strategic Plan Programs to develop alternative energy resource related projects.
  • Added $800,000 over the biennium to the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems Program (PISCES). This supports the PISCES center on Hawaii Island to build an aerospace research and development park in cooperation with NASA and other international organizations, to be able to test aerospace robotics on a similar terrain.
  • Added $1.5 million in general funds over the biennium for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council in Forestry Resource Management and Development Division of DLNR. This restores funding to support invasive species control, bringing general funding closer to historical levels.

Education (EDN)
  • Added $12.9 million in general funds for the Weighted Student Formula. This funding will go directly to classrooms to support educational activities for students, teachers and principals.
  • Added $8.2 million in general funds in FY14 for a pilot program relating to Common Core Instructional Materials. This is the DOE's initiative to give every child from grades 3-12 either a tablet or laptop to enhance their educational experience.
  • Added $1 million in general funds in FY14 for Common Core Standards Assessment in Hawaiian. This funding creates a Hawaiian language Common Core Standards test for 350 third and fourth grade students enrolled in 14 immersion schools.
  • Added $700,000 in FY14 in general funds for library books and materials. Includes funding for both physical books and e-books. Libraries have not received general funding for materials for 4 years.

Energy and Environmental Protection (EEP)
  • Added 13 temporary positions to Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) for Watershed Management to continue management of watershed projects.
  • Added 8 positions and $1.3 million for quality management and monitoring of environmental resources. These positions support programs for watershed and surface water quality monitoring, water reuse, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution control, federal and state clean water regulations, solid waste permitting and monitoring.

Higher Education (HED)
  • Added nearly $1.2 Million over the biennium for The Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.
  • Added 10 positions and $3 million in general funds in each year of the biennium to support activities and growth at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu campus.
  • Added 9 positions and $3 million in general funds over the biennium for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Initiatives. This program enhances the professional development of middle school teachers in STEM subject matter areas.

Health (HLT)
  • Added $1.4 million general funds each year for Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
  • Added 1 position and $95,000 in the Children and Youth Services section to re-establish the Violence Prevention Coordinator position, which is responsible for statewide Domestic Violence program planning.

Human Services (HUS)
  • Added $3.1 million for various social service programs including those to expand voluntary foster care to 21, increasing the clothing allowance for foster children, and developing Neighborhood drop-in Centers on Kauai.
  • Added $750,000 in general funds in FY14 to expand the Housing First program to the Leeward coast of Oahu. This helps transition chronically homeless into affordable housing situations.
  • Added 5 Counselors and nearly $875,000 over the biennium for the Office of Veterans Services.

Public Safety (PSD) & Judiciary (JUD)
  • Added $327,000 in general funds over the biennium for the Automated Fingerprint Identification system maintenance. The system is used by the Honolulu Police Department and State Sheriffs in the field to check a suspect's criminal history. This also includes facial recognition software which allows field officers to also check a suspect's criminal records through photographs.
  • Added 91 positions for the re-opening of the Kulani Facility on Hawaii Island, as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative to bring prisoners home. 
  • Added 10 Positions and $850,000 in general funds over each year of the biennium for additional security at courthouses statewide. These deputy sheriffs would provide additional security to courthouses on Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui.

Transportation (TRN)
  • Added $161,886,000 in special funds over the biennium to highways division for special repairs and maintenance of roads statewide.
  • Added 33 positions and over $2.3 million in special funds over the biennium for additional janitorial support. Positions include: 32 janitors for Honolulu International Airport and 1 janitor supervisor for Kona International Airport, who will be tasked with improving the first and last impressions and overall experience of visitors by improving the quality of services and facilities at State airports.

Also approved today were the budgets for the Judiciary Branch and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

HB197 appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Judicial Branch for the next biennium. The bill offers in general funding $145 million for FY2013-FY2014 and $144 million for FY2014-FY2015.

HB222 appropriates $3.1 million in FY2014 and $2.7 million in FY2015 in operating funds for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Watch a video of Chair Luke on Hawaii News Now Sunrise below:

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Collaboration Leads to the Conclusion of Budget Meetings

Committee Chairs Rep. Sylvia Luke and Sen. David Ige with Vice-Chairs Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, Rep. Scott Nishimoto, and Sen. Michelle Kidani
Collaboration Leads to the Conclusion of Budget Meetings Ahead of Deadline
House and Senate Conference Leaders Announce $3 Billion in Capital Improvement Projects

Lead Senate and House negotiators on the State Budget bill announced they closed negotiations three days ahead of an internal deadline.  Discussions between the Senate and House on finalizing the budget started well ahead of schedule this year, marking a paradigm shift in the approach taken to complete the work of the legislative session.

“The House and Senate committed to working together to finish the budget ahead of schedule,” said Senator David Ige, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.  “By completing work on the budget early, we have more time to consider the state financial plan and make thoughtful decisions on what bills should move forward.”

Finishing work on the budget early also creates a better environment for Senate and House negotiators working on other measures.  Rational decisions can now be made without the immense pressure of looming deadlines.  The conference committee meetings for the State Budget began nearly a week earlier than normal to avoid the last minute rush to get conference bills out for final vote.  This is a marked change from the last minute rush of typical legislative sessions.

One of the items that the two sides were able to come to agreement upon was a balanced reduction of vacancies throughout state departments in order to cut costs and ensure accurate financial reporting. After considering input from the departments, the two Chairs announced that roughly 200 positions—down from the proposed 1,000—will be reduced to save nearly $8 million.

“Chair Ige and I believe that in order to efficiently and effectively use state resources, the departments need to instill a sense of accountability and responsibility in their management of vacant positions. We have made it very clear that the Legislature wants to have all departments accurately use money we give them for its intended purpose and not for other things,” said Representative Sylvia Luke, chair of the House Finance Committee.  “I would like to really thank them for understanding what we are trying to accomplish and for providing information to ensure that the most effective decisions are made in staffing."

On the opening day of the conference committee for the state budget, the chairs agreed to appropriate $100 million for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and $117.4 million for FY 2015 to begin payments on the unfunded liabilities. 

Currently, the unfunded liabilities for the employer-union health benefits trust fund is $13.6 billion. 
Over the upcoming fiscal biennium, the Legislature’s final draft of the executive budget is more than $250 million under the Governor’s budget proposal.

Today, appropriations for Capital Improvement Programs (CIP) and grants for non-profits (Grant-In-Aid) were announced.  The committee funded $30 million in projects for non-profit organizations on every island in the state.

“In conferencing with the House members, the intent of this biennium’s CIP negotiations has been to identify what needs to be funded by the state, while staying within the executive bond issuance plan as much as possible. For General Obligation bonds, this was just over $1.32 billion for the biennium to cover projects related to agriculture, education, social services, and technology,” explained Senator Michelle Kidani, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means who oversees Capital Improvements Projects for the Senate.

“This proposed budget keeps the CIP budget within the state’s debt ceiling and Executive Bond issuance plan," said Representative Luke.”

On funding public school facilities, Luke said, "We have agreed to fund the Department of Education over $400 million for repairs, upgrades and issues that have plagued our educational facilities for many years. You can’t have a 21st century school with 20th century electrical wiring!"

House Bill 200, relating to the State Budget, will now go before the full House and Senate for a final vote. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Governor Signs PLDC Repeal

Today, the Governor signed into law HB1133 which repeals the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC). 

Early in the 2013 legislative session, Hawaii Island Representative Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala) introduced HB1133 calling for an outright repeal of the PLDC. 

Evans noted that by repealing the PLDC, lawmakers changed the work of the 2011 Legislature."I believe we have listened to the people and responsibly debated HB 1133. This action is an act for ethical management of our natural resources," Evans said.

House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown) voted against the original 2011 legislation that created the PLDC. Previously, in voting to repeal the corporation he said, "We know that government plays a pivotal role in facilitating economic development, but that entails responsible development. The PLDC failed because it went too far and unchecked."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rep. Chris Lee Selected As Top Sustainable Politician

Representative Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) has been selected as one of the 'Top 5 Green Local Politicians' in Honolulu Weekly. Rep. Lee serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection.
This week, the Honolulu Weekly released their 10th Annual Sustainability Issue highlighting people, organizations, and initiatives that promote a green and sustainable Hawaii. This Guide focuses on the can-do, and its theme is taking green to the next level: moving beyond CFLs to LEDs, beyond farmers’ markets to a CSA, beyond the city’s three bins to dropping off household hazardous waste. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Partnership on Educator Effectiveness

Representative Roy Takumi, Chair of the House Education Committee, served as a co-chair at the National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) Foundation for State Legislatures Partnership on Educator Effectiveness. This partnership brought together industry experts who are members of NCSL’s Foundation for State Legislatures and legislators and legislative staff with expertise on this issue. 

The guide includes chapters on preparing effective educators, licensing, recruiting and retaining, induction and mentoring, ongoing professional learning, evaluating and using data to improve educator effectiveness.

NCSL’s Educator Effectiveness Partnership created this publication as a guide for state legislators as they consider policies that support educators and improve the quality of teaching. It provides an overview of the major areas of educator policy, lists questions state legislators might ask as they consider their own policy context, and offers policy options states are considering. The information presented in this publication was gleaned from Partnership meetings during the past year with education policy experts and from the partners’ own expertise and experience. The Partnership met throughout 2011 to hear from researchers and experts on the issue, and shared their own expertise to determine the most effective and ef­ficient policies. The work culminated in this guide.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dole Middle School Selected as School of Distinction Again

( L to R): Vice Speaker John M. Mizuno; Representative Romy M. Cachola; Arnie Kikkawa, Principal; Elissa Pickard Librarian; Karlene Kauleinamoku, CFES Teacher and Coordinator.

On April 11th, the House of Representatives honored Dole Middle School for being the recipient of the 2012 College for Every Student School Distinction Award for the 3rd consecutive year. The National College for Every Student Program presented the very first School of Distinction Award to Dole Middle School Principal Arnie Kikkawa on October 19, 2010. The House presented to the school a certificate for extraordinary leadership and commitment to their students and staff in mentoring, promoting academic excellence, and demonstrated gains in the academic achievement of their students. 

Schools across the country are grappling with budget cuts and teacher layoffs, however, a select group of schools (21 in the nation), have managed to overcome these challenges and earned the title of "School of Distinction" in 2012 for making strides in preparing their students for college.  Dole Middle School was the only school from Hawaii to first be recognized with this award in 2010 and will be honored today for their third consecutive award.

"Education has always been a top priority for Hawaii and it is important for parents and students to understand and trust the public school system because this system can provide all students the foundation to pursue unlimited opportunities," said Vice Speaker John Mizuno who is the area Legislator for Dole Middle School. "Hawaii deeply values education and now we can say that Dole Middle School is recognized as one of the best schools in the nation for preparing their students for higher education.  It is pleasing that this is the 3rd consecutive year that our school has garnered this distinction award."

Monday, April 15, 2013

18th Annual Legislative Massage Awareness Day

Representative Mizuno and staff present a certificate of appreciation to MATAH President Dustin Ebisu, AMTA President Walter Aipa, and AMTA VP Arlene Estrella.

Today, the Legislature held its 18th Annual Legislative Massage Awareness Day sponsored by Senator Josh Green and Vice Speaker John Mizuno to benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.

Representative John Mizuno presented a certificate congratulating the Hawaii Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Massage Therapists Association of Hawaii (MATAH) for their commitment to the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

An Oral History: The Life of Calvin Say Episode 1 Childhood And Adolescent Years

Olelo will be airing "An Oral History: The Life of Calvin Say," a 6-part documentary series about Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say. In the first episode, Speaker Say discusses his childhood and adolescent years growing up in Hawaii.

The episodes in this series include:
1. Childhood and Adolescent Years
2. College Years and Early Adulthood
3. Life as a Legislator
4. Contemporary and Reoccurring Issues
5. Personal Life of Calvin Say
6. Legacy Episode

The next three episodes in the series will air on the dates, times, and channel listed below.

An Oral History: The Life of Calvin Say: Episode 2 - College & Early Adult Years
10:30 AM
1:00 PM
6:00 PM
8:00 AM
An Oral History: The Life of Calvin Say: Episode 3 - Life as a Legislator
2:00 PM
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
10:30 AM
An Oral History: The Life of Calvin Say: Episode 4 - Contemporary & Reoccurring Issues
8:00 PM
10:00 PM
3:00 PM
8:00 AM

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Second Crossover

House and Senate Conferees to Sort out Differences on Legislation and State Budget

The State House of Representatives voted on over a hundred-fifty bills today dealing with education, sustainability, the environment, revitalizing our economy, and improving the quality of life for Hawaii residents.  The majority of bills will go into conference committees where House and Senate conferees will negotiate differences in the measures and determine which will go through for final consideration.

"We look forward to meaningful discussions with our Senate counterparts that will lead to agreements on legislation important to our State and citizens. With just about a month left in this legislative session, I believe that the state budget that we developed and the bills that we crafted have met the objectives that the House set for itself when the session began.  We have engaged the community, developed sound public policies, and approached the state budget in a fiscally conservative manner," said House Speaker Joseph M. Souki.

SB1082 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN Repeals various provisions relating to student transportation policy requirements allowing the State to have reasonable flexibility with school bus contracts.
SB1083 HD2 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN Exempts contracts from statutory requirements for wage certification, primarily base salaries for bus drivers.
SB105 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO HEALTH Requires the Department of Health's Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch to establish and maintain a statewide Fall Prevention and Early Detection Program to support the health and well-being of the elderly population.
SB102 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO THE ELDERLY Requires financial institutions to report instances of suspected financial abuse directly to the appropriate county police department as well as the Department of Human Services.
SB106 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO AGING Appropriates funds for programs and services that support the State's elderly population and establishes a Task Force on Mobility Management.
SB1093 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO SCHOOL READINESS Establishes a School Readiness Program as part of the State's Early Learning System.
SB1084 SD1 HD1 PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE X, SECTION 1, OF THE HAWAII STATE CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT THE APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PRIVATE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS Proposes a constitutional amendment to authorize the appropriation of public funds for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs.
SB1095 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Establishes the Early Childhood Education Program. This bill is contingent upon the ratification of the constitutional amendment proposed in SB1084 above.
SB237 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL LANDS Authorizes the Board and the Department of Education to facilitate the redevelopment of public school lands, by cooperating with private enterprises; the various components of federal, state, and county governments; and the public in order to generate income to improve public school facilities and infrastructure to meet the challenges of the twenty first century.
SB563 SD3 HD2 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Reconstitutes the form and processes of the Candidate Advisory Council to ensure the appointment of qualified individuals to serve as members of the Board of Regents and effectively lead the University of Hawaii. Several concerns have been raised as to the selection process, which has hampered the work of the Board of Regents Candidate Advisory Council, and this bill seeks to address those concerns.
SB9 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO ANIMALS Provides greater protections for animals by requiring that a person convicted of cruelty to animals in the first or second degree shall, in addition to any fine or imprisonment, be prohibited from possessing or owning any animal involved in the offense for a period of time.
SB978 HD1 RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE Increases protections for pet animals by making the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree involving twenty-five or more pet animals in any one instance a class C felony.
SB635 SD1 HD3 RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY Establishes felony and misdemeanor offenses for injuring or killing an animal engaged in law enforcement or corrections activities.
SB642 HD2 RELATING TO HEALTH The intent of the bill is to reduce the number of under aged individuals using tobacco products by requiring that tobacco products, including cigarettes, be stored for sale behind a counter in certain retail establishments. The bill also amends the Medical Marijuana Law to, among other provisions, increase the number of plants that can be grown, limits the “adequate supply amount” to 21 or less marijuana plants among registered patients and caregivers, and transfers the Medical Use Marijuana Program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.
SB655 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO HEALTH Protects public health by allowing health care professionals to provide Expedited Partner Therapy by dispensing or prescribing antibiotic medication.  Allows health care professionals to prescribe medication for partners of a patient diagnosed with sexually transmitted disease without first examining them.
SB548 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO TELEMEDICINE Exempts from the licensing requirement to practice medicine in the State any commissioned medical officer employed by the U.S. Department of Defense, who is credentialed by Tripler Army Medical Center to provide telemedicine support. This measure is necessary to ensure that service members who seek medical services at Hawaii National Guard armories on the neighbor islands will be able to receive telemedicine support by qualified medical personnel.
SB668 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO HEALTH Requires health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder treatments.
SB1171 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE REVIEW OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION PROJECTS The purpose of this bill is to protect Hawaii's historical and cultural heritage while providing flexibility in the review of construction projects. It authorizes the phased review of projects by the Department of Land and Natural Resources' State Historic Preservation Division. The inability to phase review could affect complex multi-year and multi-phase projects.
SB535 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO LABOR Extends certain basic labor rights and protections to domestic workers by prohibiting an employer from discharging or discriminating against a domestic worker in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
SB930 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS SUSTAINABLE CONCRETE INITIATIVE Appropriates funds to support the investigative stage of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) sustainable concrete initiative.  Requires PISCES to provide reports to the Legislature regarding the Sustainable Concrete Initiative and other issues that would support economic development in Hawaii.
SB1256 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS Appropriates an unspecified amount for operations, personnel costs, and the purchase of equipment required to support the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) activities. Requires PISCES to submit an annual report to the Legislature.
SB1221 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION Appropriates an unspecified amount for each year of fiscal biennium 2013-2015 for a Program Coordinator and technical support staff member for the proposed international flight training center and associated proposed aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.
SB23 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE REVENUE BONDS TO ASSIST A SEAWATER AIR CONDITIONING PROJECT Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds in an unspecified amount to assist Kaiuli Energy, LLC, with financing the planning, design, construction and other cost items of a seawater air conditioning district cooling facility and chilled water distribution system in and around Waikiki, on the island of Oahu.
SB1092 SD1 HD1 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION TO RECAPITALIZE THE HURRICANE RESERVE TRUST FUND Makes a general fund appropriation of an unspecified amount for fiscal year 2014-2015 to recapitalize the hurricane reserve trust fund.
SB1094 SD1 HD1 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION TO THE EMERGENCY AND BUDGET RESERVE FUND Makes a general fund appropriation of an unspecified amount for fiscal year 2014-2015 to recapitalize the emergency and budget reserve fund.
SB1194 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX Repeals the additional Transient Accommodations Tax imposed by Act 61, SLH 2009 and reestablishes the tax rate at 7.25%. Repeals the daily tax on transient accommodations furnished on a complimentary or gratuitous basis imposed by Act 103, SLH 2011. Makes permanent the caps on Transient Accommodations Tax revenue distributions to the Tourism Special Fund and the counties beginning July 1, 2013.
SB98 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO TAXATION Reduces the tax liability for low-income taxpayers by creating a tax credit that will reduce a taxpayer's income tax to a minimum amount if the taxpayer's federal and Hawaii adjusted gross income falls below certain thresholds.
SB498 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES Appropriates funds out of the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund to establish and fund a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week, special emergency medical response vehicle unit based in Maalaea, Maui.
SB524 SD1 HD1 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE Appropriates funds to support the objective of food security and self-sufficiency by establishing an agricultural development and food security program. Establishes state economic planning and policy objectives regarding increased demand for, to, and production of locally grown foods and appropriates funds to begin meeting these objectives.
SB606 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Appropriates an unspecified amount to the University of Hawaii to pay student employees at new or expanded worksites on each campus and for the University of Hawaii at Manoa student employment functions.
SB614 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO PUBLIC WORKS OF ART Requires the Comptroller and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to commission permanent works of art to honor the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink. 
SB66 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO THE CODE OF ETHICS Makes the financial disclosure statements of members of certain state boards and commissions available for public inspection and duplication. Clarifies the fair treatment law by separating out certain limitations placed on task force members from those placed on legislators and makes clear that legislators are not prohibited from taking action in the exercise of the legislator's legislative functions.
SB1357 SD2 HD1 RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION Specifies that a government agency does not assume ownership or jurisdiction over a disputed road solely through maintenance activities. This bill would allow for government entities to repair disputed roads that would otherwise not be maintained.
SB19 SD1 HD2 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY Exempts landlords and lessors who install renewable energy systems on their property and provide, sell, or transmit electricity generated from those renewable energy systems to tenants or lessees on the premises from the definition of public utility.
SB623 SD2 HD3 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY Replaces the current renewable energy technology systems tax credit with tax credits for solar energy property and wind energy property. Requires the Department of Taxation and Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to report tax credits claimed under the renewable energy technology property tax credit and make recommendations to the Legislature.
SB1087 SD2 HD3 RELATING TO GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Establishes a regulatory financing structure that authorizes the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) low-cost loans for green infrastructure equipment to achieve measurable cost savings and to meet Hawaii's clean energy goals.

The House also passed two bills that will go to the Governor for his consideration and approval.  They are:
SB120 SD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES Authorizes the public utilities commission to establish a policy to implement economic incentives and cost recovery regulatory mechanisms to induce and accelerate electric utilities' cost reduction efforts, encourage greater utilization of renewable energy, accelerate the retirement of utility fossil generation, and increase investments to modernize the State's electrical grids.
SB1040 RELATING TO ELECTRIC SYSTEMS Directs the Public Utilities Commission to consider the value of implementing advanced grid modernization technology in the State.