Maui News

Rep. Gabbard Votes to Keep Government Open, Fund Maui Watersheds

May 4, 2017, 10:36 AM HST
* Updated May 4, 10:38 AM
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released a statement after voting to pass a bipartisan funding bill to keep the government open through September 2017.

As part of the ceremony to bless the biofuel crop project, each attendee planted a sunflower seed on the 115 acre site located in central Maui. Courtesy photo.

Rep. Gabbard also included funding for Hawaiʻi including the East-West Center, Native Hawaiian housing, healthcare, education programs, critical environmental protections, and clean energy initiatives.

“From Flint, to Standing Rock, to Red Hill, it’s clear our water infrastructure nationwide is in dire need of investment and updates. This bill invests in our clean water infrastructure, and includes funding for critical Hawaiʻi resources like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lāhainā Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed,” she said.

She said the bill would also increase funding for missile defense for Hawaiʻi as North Korea continues to increase its nuclear and ballistic missile activity and capabilities.

“As Hawaiʻi continues the process to open medical marijuana dispensaries, this bill included important language that specifies no federal funds may be used to stop states like Hawaiʻi from ‘implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.’


“Passing this bill with bipartisan support is a positive step, and shows what is possible when both parties come together to put the people of this country above partisan politics.”


Hawaiʻi will benefit from federal funding that includes:

· $16.7 million for the East-West Center
· $2 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program
· $14.4 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems program
· $47.2 million for Native Hawaiian Education programs
· $24.5 million for the Sea-based X-band Radar at Pearl Harbor for the continued improvement of Hawaiʻi’s missile defense capabilities
· $12 million for the Barking Sands Tactical Underwater Range (BARSTUR) on Kauaʻi
· $3.194 million for agricultural education grants for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Institutions
· $222 million for the environmental restoration of formerly used defense sites, including the 117 sites in Hawaiʻi
· $1.49 billion for community health centers nationwide, including 15 community health centers in Hawaiʻi
· $6.5 million for the Grassroots Source Water Protection Program, which helps prevent pollution of groundwater in rural communities in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
· $150 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, which funds Hawaiʻi projects like the Lower Hamakua Ditch, Upcountry Maui Watershed, Lahaina Watershed, and Wailuku-Alenaio Watershed
· $617 million in Department of Justice grants that support law enforcement hiring, training, and community programs in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
· $4 million to expand Project HOPE programs to reduce recidivism in new sites nationwide
· $7 million for Veteran Treatment Courts in Hawaiʻi and nationwide
· Includes language allowing for funds to be used for humanitarian assistance to COFA nations, and for patients from COFA nations to receive treatment at Army medical facilities in Hawaiʻi
· The bill also specifies that no federal funds may be used with respect to any of a number of listed States, including Hawaiʻi, to “prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

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