House Advances 100+ Bills on Final Crossover
The state House of Representatives today passed more than 100 Senate measures including bills dealing with heat abatement for schools, homelessness and affordable housing, crime victims’ rights, body-worn cameras for police, the creation of a law enforcement review board, senior care facilities, medical marijuana dispensary inspections, an interisland ferry study, and the Judiciary budget.
“These bills represent a broad range of concerns for the state, from affordable housing and homelessness to interisland transportation,” said House Speaker, Joseph M. Souki, of Maui in a press release. “They address the needs of our keiki, victims of crime, medical patients, and our kupuna, and go a long way in making life and lives better in Hawaiʻi. I would like to thank the representatives, their staff, the state departments, the private and nonprofit organizations, and every Hawaiʻi resident who took the time to provide input so that we could create and improve the laws that govern us all.”
Some highlighted bills passed by the House include the following:
SB3126 SD2 HD2, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the use of funds from the Green Infrastructure Loan Program to implement and expedite cooling measures in public school classrooms, and requires the Department of Education to become net-zero with respect to energy use by Jan. 1, 2035;
SB2624 SD2 HD1, which provides a state income tax credit for certain expenses paid or incurred by school teachers, special education teachers, school librarians, and counselors for supplementary materials used in the classroom, as well as for accompanying students for educational travel;
SB2833 SD2 HD2, which amends the state low-income housing tax credit and bases the amount of the tax credit on whether a building is financed by tax-exempt bonds;
SB2566 SD1 HD1, which transfers excess moneys from the rental assistance revolving fund to the rental housing revolving fund;
SB2563 SD1 HD1, which amends operations of the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority and funding eligibility criteria of the Rental Housing Revolving Fund to make HPHA projects eligible for loans and grants from the Revolving Fund and granting the Authority preferences and priority in loan and grant applications. Requires the Authority to coordinate with other state agencies in developing transit-proximate affordable housing;
SB3034 SD1 HD2, known as Marsy’s Law, which proposes a ballot question for an amendment to the Hawaiʻi State Constitution to provide the victims of crimes with specific rights related to the criminal justice process;
SB2411 SD2 HD2, which establishes requirements, restrictions, and implementation timelines for body-worn cameras and vehicle cameras for county police departments, and appropriates funds for each county to purchase body-worn and vehicle video cameras;
SB2439 SD1 HD1, which establishes exceptions to the offense of obstructing government operations and the offense of violation of privacy in the second degree for a person making a video or audio recording or photograph of a law enforcement officer while the officer is in the performance of duties in a public place or under circumstances in which the officer has no reasonable expectation of privacy;
SB2196 SD2 HD1, which establishes a law enforcement officer independent review board within the Department of the Attorney General to investigate incidents of officer-involved death;
SB2816 SD1 HD2, which adds the offense of criminal trespass onto state lands to the penal code, amends criminal trespass in the second degree to apply to government agricultural property regardless of whether it is fenced, enclosed or otherwise secured;
SB2384 SD1 HD1, which requires the Department of Health to conduct unannounced visits and inspections, including inspections for relicensing and recertification, for certain state-licensed or state-certified care facilities and unannounced inspections for license renewals for medical marijuana production centers and dispensaries;
SB2181 SD2 HD2, which permits manufacturers of investigational drugs or biological products beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, to make these drugs and products available to terminally ill patients under certain conditions;
SB2319 SD1 HD3, which requires health insurers in the state, including health benefits plans under the Hawaiʻi Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund and Medicaid managed care programs, to cover reimbursement for contraceptive supplies intended to last for up to a 12-month period for an insured;
SB3084 SD1 HD2, which authorizes the state Department of Health to establish a cesspool tax credit or rebate program to facilitate cesspool conversions or improvements by residents;
SB2618 SD1 HD2, which directs the state Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study on establishing an interisland and intra-island ferry system;
SB1374 SD2 HD2, which requires the Department of Agriculture to negotiate land exchanges with Dole Food Company, Inc. to conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency, and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands for the future;
SB2398 SD2 HD2, which establishes a collective bargaining unit for graduate student assistants employed by the University of Hawaiʻi;
SB2647 SD1 HD2, which prohibits the sale, purchase, trade, possession with intent to sell, or barter of any part or product, including ivory, from animal species that are threatened with extinction;
The House also passed the Judiciary supplemental budget. Both chambers have until Thursday, April 14, to pass on third reading any remaining bills before the Second Crossover deadline.
Following the deadline, the amended Senate bills passed by the House, along with the amended House bills passed by the Senate, will go into conference committees where House and Senate conferees will negotiate differences in the measures and determine which will be presented for final consideration.