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.
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.
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.
Authorizes the court to release a defendant in custody on unsecured bail.
Addresses damage done during the riot at the Maui Community Correctional Center. Appropriates funds for the immediate needs of Maui Community Correctional Center. Exempts the funds appropriated for the immediate needs of Maui Community Correctional Center from the procurement code. Appropriates funds for six months of housing costs for two hundred forty-eight inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona and for costs to return the inmates to Hawaii.
Requires a mandatory recount of election votes and ballot measures when the margin of victory for election contests or tabulation for ballot measures is equal to or less than one hundred or one-quarter of one per cent of the votes cast, whichever is greater.
Enacts voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections commencing in 2020. Establishes a limited number of voter service centers that would remain open from the tenth business day preceding an election through the day of the election to receive personal delivery of mail-in ballots, accommodate voters with special needs, offer same day registration and voting, and provide other election services. Allows for additional places of deposit for personal delivery of mail-in ballots. Appropriates funds for the implementation and administration of the election by mail program. Requires the Office of Elections to submit a report to the legislature before the convening of each regular session from 2020 through 2025, regarding the implementation of a vote by mail system.
Creates a rebate program for the installation or upgrade of electric vehicle charging stations in publicly accessible commercial areas, workplaces, and multi-unit dwellings. The rebate is not for single-family residences or parking stalls reserved for individual use.
Allows state and county agencies to enter into performance contracts for electric vehicle fleets and charging infrastructure.
Clarifies and strengthens the role of the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office in developing policies and programs to support the adoption of clean transportation.
Grants procurement priority for fuel cell electric vehicles for state and county vehicle purchases. Includes fuel cell electric vehicles in the definition of "electric vehicles" for purposes of parking fee exemption, high occupancy vehicle lane use, registration, and required parking spaces in places of public accommodation.
Establishes an annual vehicle registration surcharge fee for electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles to be deposited into the State Highway Fund.
Authorizes the use of private lands for the Ohana Zones Pilot Program. Extends implementation of the Ohana Zones Pilot Program to June 30, 2023. Extends the Emergency Department Homelessness Assessment Pilot Program and the Medical Respite Pilot Program to June 30, 2020. Appropriates funds.
Appropriates funds for core homelessness services, including the outreach program, rapid re-housing program, housing first program, family assessment centers, stored property and debris removal services, and the state rent supplemental program.
Directs the Department of Human Services, in partnership with the state procurement office, to provide training on government procurement and other relevant procedures to nonprofit organizations that offer homeless outreach services or manage homeless housing programs in rural areas of the State. Appropriates funds for the training program.
Appropriates funds for program ID HTH420 for the Department of Health to contract for legal assistance with petitions for assisted community treatment and related court proceedings.
Requires a licensed psychiatrist or advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority and psychiatric specialization to determine, prior to a person's discharge from a psychiatric facility, whether an assisted community treatment plan is indicated and to make certain arrangements if so indicated. Amends the criteria for assisted community treatment.
Extends the sunset date of Act 141, Session Laws of Hawaii 2009, as amended, which requires each county to issue affordable housing credits to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, until July 1, 2024. Extends the sunset date of Act 98, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, as amended, which requires the counties to issue affordable housing credits for each residential unit, or if allowed under the county's affordable housing program, vacant lot, developed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, until July 1, 2024.
Directs the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation to initiate negotiations and exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire the Front Street Apartments affordable housing project on Maui unless the ground lease is renegotiated, or a new lease is issued by 12/31/19. Extends the deadline to complete the Lealiʻi affordable housing project on Maui. Appropriates funds from the rental housing revolving fund.
Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to be appropriated into and out of the rental housing revolving fund.
Requires the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation to study and formulate a plan to implement an ALOHA homes program to provide low-cost, high-density leasehold homes for sale to Hawaiʻi residents on state-owned lands within a one-half mile radius of a public transit station. Appropriates moneys.
Provides for the expungement of criminal records pertaining solely to the possession of three grams or less of marijuana. Decriminalizes the possession of three grams or less of marijuana and establishes that the possession is a violation punishable by a monetary fine of $130. Establishes a marijuana evaluation task force to make recommendations on changing marijuana use penalties and outcomes in the State.
Authorizes qualifying patients or qualifying out-of-state patients to transport medical cannabis between islands for their personal medical use.
Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a permanent industrial hemp program pursuant to federal law, and a corresponding special fund. Reduces or repeals certain regulatory requirements under the existing industrial hemp pilot program. Establishes monetary penalties for the unauthorized cultivation of hemp. Establishes authorized cultivation of hemp as an affirmative defense to certain criminal offenses pertaining to marijuana. Excludes hemp from statutory definitions of marijuana. Requires the chairperson of the Board of Agriculture to prepare a state plan for approval by the federal Secretary of Agriculture and report on the approval process to the Legislature and Governor. Appropriates funds.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Disallows dividends paid deduction for real estate investment trusts. Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2019. Sunsets 12/31/2023.
Driving Under the Influence
Amends the sentencing requirements for OVUII and HOVUII offenses. Amends the threshold for HOVUII offenses. Requires the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to convene a task force to examine and propose legislation that would allow the courts, under certain circumstances, to prohibit a person convicted of OVUII or HOVUII from purchasing or publicly consuming alcohol for a probation period.
Appropriates funds to the Department of Health for collective bargaining requirements for ambulance providers and other current expenses. Requires the Department of Health to contract with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the guidance of a steering committee to conduct a study of the State Emergency Medical System. Authorizes the Department of Health to establish a task force to develop a plan to implement findings and recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's study and any proposed legislation.
Clarifies that existing law intended to curb over-access to and abuse of opioids, including the time frame for filling prescriptions, supply limitations, and requirements to check the state electronic prescription accountability system and execute an informed consent process, do not apply to qualifying patients who are prescribed or issued prescriptions pursuant to the State's Our Care, Our Choice Act.
Authorizes pharmacists, acting in good faith and exercising reasonable care, to prescribe and dispense an opioid antagonist to patients at risk of overdose, and family members and caregivers of patients at risk of overdose. Sunsets 6/30/2024.
Increases the annual rolling cap for the Motion Picture, Digital Media, and Film Production Income Tax Credit to $50 million. Requires the University of Hawaiʻi, West Oʻahu campus and the Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation to execute a memorandum of understanding that commits the parties to enter into a no-cost lease agreement for at least 60 years that includes a provision for the transfer of title within 6 years to a certain parcel of land from the University of Hawaiʻi, West Oahu campus to the HTDC.
Renames the Hawaiʻi Television and Film Development Special Fund as the Hawaiʻi Film and Creative Industries Development Special Fund and expands its funding sources and purposes. Appropriates funds for the University of Hawaiʻi creative media program to strengthen the pipeline of students into the creative media industry.
Establishes the Stadium Development District comprising all state land under the Stadium Authority's jurisdiction. Authorizes the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority to facilitate the development of all state property within the District. Requires a memorandum of agreement for matters affecting the District. Directs the Department of Land and Natural Resources to transfer the title of stadium lands to the Stadium Authority. Subjects leases of land within the District to not more than 99 years. Authorizes the issuance of revenue bonds and general obligation bonds. Appropriates funds. Requires annual reports to the Legislature.
Requires charter schools to provide to their authorizers full access to their fiscal and accounting books, documents, and files. Requires authorizers to select three independent auditors, from which the charter school will select one independent auditor. Prohibits individuals from serving as Charter School Commission members if the individual was affiliated with a charter school within one year preceding appointment.
Amends the composition of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi by reducing the number of board members from 15 members to 11 members and specifying terms of holdover for board members.
Requires public school teachers and educators to confiscate electronic cigarettes from students under 21 years of age. Requires the Department of Health to establish a Safe Harbor Program by which persons under the age of 21 may dispose of electronic cigarettes in their possession. Increases administrative fines for persons under the age of 21 for certain electronic smoking device infractions.
Requires the Department of Education to establish a mandatory youth suicide awareness and prevention training program and model risk referral protocol, based on existing materials created by the Department of Health, for all public schools, including charter schools. Requires charter schools to provide the training program and risk referral protocol to all school personnel who work directly with students in department schools and charter schools, respectively.
Addresses illegally parked vehicles along state highways that cause traffic gridlock, draw community complaints, and create unsafe and hazardous conditions by establishing the State Highway Enforcement Program to enforce illegal parking violations and provide for parking management improvements. Additionally imposes a parking violation surcharge of $200, in addition to other penalties and fines, for parking violations on state highways.
Establishes within the Department of Transporation a red light running committee to develop policy for pilot programs in the City and County of Honolulu, and Counties of Maui, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi.
Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a 2-year Agricultural Theft and Vandalism Pilot Project to examine the effectiveness of prosecuting agricultural theft and agricultural vandalism in the counties of Hawaiʻi and Maui. Appropriates funds.
Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death
Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to study and combat rapid ʻōhiʻa death.
Expands the existing prohibition on knowingly capturing or killing a manta ray in state marine waters to apply to all rays and to also include knowingly taking, possessing, abusing, or entangling a ray. Provides certain exemptions.
Authorizes the Department of Human Services to disclose, upon consent, confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect to any parent or guardian of a child enrolled in an exempt or excluded child care facility.
Appropriates funds to support the work of the State of Hawaiʻi Museum of Natural and Cultural History (also known as Bishop Museum), including the hiring of staff, provided that these sums are in addition to and do not supplant any portion of the base budget for the museum.
Appropriates funds for burial grants for qualifying Filipino-American World War II veterans to provide funeral and burial services and transportation of their remains to the Philippines, subject to certain conditions.
Establishes quorum requirements for the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs.
Appropriates funds for the operating budget of the Executive Branch for fiscal years 2019‑2020 and 2020‑2021.
Appropriates operating and capital improvement grants for fiscal year 2020. Effective 7/1/2019.
Appropriates capital improvement projects for fiscal biennium 2019–2021.
The House has passed 232 bills on final reading so far this session. Click for a list of all bills that have passed final reading in the House of Representatives.