Monday, June 27, 2016

CNN interviews Rep. Rhoads about "Rap Back" gun control legislation

State Rep. Karl Rhoads was interviewed about his gun control bill signed into law by Gov. David Ige last week.

Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108) which authorizes county police departments in Hawai‘i to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in a criminal record monitoring service.

The system, also known as the “Rap Back” system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments in Hawai‘i to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. The law also authorizes the Hawai‘i Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data.

Ige also signed HB 625 (ACT 109) and HB 2632 (ACT 110) Relating to Firearms.
HB 625 specifies that harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing or controlling any firearm or ammunition.

HB 2632 requires firearms owners to surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police if they have been disqualified from owning a firearm and ammunition for the following reasons: Diagnosis of significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder, or emergency or involuntary hospitalization to a psychiatric facility. This measure authorizes the Chief of Police to seize firearms and ammunition if a disqualified firearms owner fails to surrender the items after receiving written notice.

Friday, June 17, 2016

House, Senate members attend signing ceremony for three important bills to become law

Several House and Senate lawmakers attended a ceremony June 16 with Gov.  David Ige as he signed three important bills into law.

The bills included HB 2252 (ACT 69) that will require hospitals to adopt and maintain written discharge policies that are consistent with recent updates to federal regulations. The new law requires hospitals to explain and demonstrate medical and nursing tasks required of family caregivers once the patient returns home from the hospital.

The CARE Act recognizes the critical role of Hawaii’s unpaid family caregivers who keep family members and friends out of costly institutions, providing them with the tools to safely and efficiently care for loved ones at home.

The CARE Act features three provisions:
1.     The caregiver’s name is recorded when a loved one is admitted to the hospital.
2.     The caregiver is notified if the hospital is transferring the patient to another facility or releasing them.
3.     The hospital offers to instruct the caregiver on how to perform tasks at home once the loved one is discharged from the hospital. Tasks include medication management, injections and wound care.

“Many of our residents have no other option but to care for their loved ones at home. The CARE Act is crucial in giving families support, guidance and peace of mind as they care for family members and loved ones in the home,” said Gov. Ige.

With Gov. Ige’s signature, Hawaii becomes the 27th state in the nation (plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) to support the CARE Act, to establish minimum hospital discharge standards across the board, to ease the transition from hospital to home.

The CARE Act receives no financial appropriation.


SB 2392 (ACT 68) Relating to Opioid Antagonists: The law takes steps to reduce opioid-related drug overdoses by encouraging the use of opioid antagonists to assist individuals who experience or are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. The bill creates immunity for health care professionals and pharmacists who prescribe, dispense, distribute or administer overdose reversal medications such as Naloxone. The bill also authorizes police, firefighters, lifeguards, all emergency medical technicians, family and friends to administer this medication to anyone experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.

SB 2453 (ACT 67) Relating to Aquatic Resources: Authorizes the court to require violators of certain laws pertaining to aquatic resources to complete an educational class and/or pay a monetary fine or perform community services in lieu of paying a monetary fine.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

House Speaker Joseph Souki's Memorial Day 2016 Speech


More than 70 years ago, you, a generation of young Americans left your mark on history.  Your story is one of heroism and bravery, of citizenship and global responsibility. 

You were all young then, simply trying to make your way through life in a world full of confusion and upheaval.  Your response to those challenges have become legendary.

In the face of prejudice, you not only stared down your own fears, but the fears of a nation in the grip of war. 

In the face of ignorance, you gave us a renewed understanding of the immigrant experience upon which this country was built.

In the face of bigotry, you provided a lesson for people from all backgrounds and for all times.

You are part of our country’s Greatest Generation who helped shape the world—for decades to come.
All that you have achieved remains as bright and clear as ever.

It shines whenever repressed individuals around the world look to us for encouragement and support.

It shines whenever Americans gather to exercise their freedoms.

It shines whenever we look into our own hearts to search for the best in ourselves.

Today we stand here honoring your sacrifice and the men and women who gave their lives in service to our great nation.

You fought for the right of all individuals to purse life, liberty and happiness. 

Your legacy is not just something carved in stone on a monument.

Your legacy is a living, breathing nation that continues to defy ignorance and bigotry.

Your legacy is all of us.