House Moves 183 More Bills to Senate Ahead of Deadline
By Maui Now Staff
After 14 hours of deliberations, the state House advanced 183 bills yesterday, ahead of Thursday’s crossover deadline.
The bills include measures relating to the minimum wage, consumers, veterans and the homeless.
The House now stands in recess and will reconvene to take action on final measures for third reading on Thursday, March 6 at noon.
To date, the House has advanced more than 400 bills this session.
Below is a list highlighting some of the bills passed in the House as they relate to various subject areas:
- Homelessness, HB1841 HD1: provides additional housing opportunities for homeless families and individuals by establishing the Hale Kōkua Program under the Housing First Program within the Department of Human Services. The program encourages homeowners to set aside dwelling units for rental by families or individuals classified as employed but homeless.
- Labor and Minimum Wage, HB2580 HD1: annually increases minimum wage from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2018; and annually increases the tip credit from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 1, 2017, if the gross amount the employee receives from wages and tips for a taxable year is at least 250% of the poverty level.
- Education, HB14 HD2: amends law to make kindergarten mandatory; and develops a statewide individualized kindergarten readiness system. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, requires all public and charter schools to adopt the system.
- Health, HB2577 HD2: prohibits smoking anywhere in a public housing project except in a designated smoking area as a condition of any agreement for the occupancy or use of premises within a public housing project. Authorizes the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority to adopt rules to implement the smoking ban and the designated smoking areas.
- Energy and Environment, HB2101 HD1: deposits a percentage of conveyance tax revenue annually into the Kahoʻolawe Rehabilitation Trust Fund for the long-term rehabilitation of Kahoʻolawe and maintenance of the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve, with a maximum amount of $3.5 million.
- Public Safety, HB1509 HD1: makes operating a motor vehicle in the state while using a mobile device a traffic infraction. Specifies that the penalty for such an infraction shall be a fine of not less than $250, rather than court appearance.
- Elections and Public Office, HB2408 HD1: requires the arrangement of candidate names on ballots in alphabetical order by last name, beginning with a letter randomly selected by the chief election officer to provide a fair ballot design for all state and local elections.
- Internet Sales, HB1651 HD1: requires the collection of use taxes by out-of-state sellers of tangible personal property who are deemed to be “engaged in businesses in the state.” This includes entering into an agreement with a person in the state who refers potential purchasers to the seller through an internet link or website, or performs related services in the state on behalf of the seller, from purchasers in the state.
- Veterans, HB1667 HD3: exempts qualifying totally and permanently disabled veterans from paying the state motor vehicle registration fee.
- Sex Assault Victims, HB2034 HD2: provides victims of sexual assault with additional time to engage with the legal system by eliminating the statute of limitations for criminal and civil actions arising from sexual assault in the first and second degrees and continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14.
House members previously passed more than 200 bills, including HB1671 HD1, which removes the $93 million cap on the Transient Accommodations Tax allocation to the counties.
The measure instead, establishes the distribution of these revenues as a percentage of the TAT collected.