Legislative Update: Bills as of 1/24/12

Aloha!  Here is an updated list of some of the bills I will be working on in 2012:

Education

Teacher Shortages – establish the “Hawaii Grow Your Own Teacher Program” to train teachers for hard-to-staff schools

Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for schools in 2011-’12 Budget (HB 200):

  . power upgrade for Kamaile Elementary ($800,000)

. architectural barrier removal for Wai’anae HS ($1.3 mil)

. repair Nanakuli HS & Intermediate leaking gym roof (part of $2.3 mil federal grant)

. repair and maintenance for all Wai’anae Coast schools – Kamaile, Leihoku, Maili,

Makaha, Nanakuli (El, HS/Inter) and Wai’anae (El, Inter, HS) — funded by federal

“Race To The Top” program ($1.7 mil)

. design for new Nanakuli Public Library ($1.075 mil)

Transportation

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption (SB 103) – exempt totally and permanently disabled veterans from motor vehicle registration fees

Disabled Placards (SB 1119) – allow disabled persons to receive second removable windshield placard

Makaha Bridges – $1.3m construction of bridges near Makaha Beach Park (HB200)

Farrington Highway – resurfacing, Kili Dr. to Satellite Tracking Station ($10.9 mil)

Harbors – construction funds may be available through lump sum allocation for improvements statewide at boating and ocean recreation facilities ($7.5 mil)

Health

Community Inspectors – empower County mayors to appoint, in cooperation with neighborhood boards, volunteer pollution inspection advisors to Department of Health in matters relating to landfills and similar facilities

Community Give-Back – add a community giveback fee to fines for violations of health and safety regulations levied against landfills and other industrial sites

Landfill Ban – Place a moratorium  on new landfills on the Waianae Coast in the interest of environmental justice; prohibit all landfills from accepting municipal solid waste after dates to be determined (SB 1425)

Medicaid for Disabled – Urge an audit of the state’s QExA health insurance program for disabled patients

Housing

Compost Toilets – eliminate or mitigate legal prohibitions against septic tanks, compost toilets and other “green” alternative wastewater systems which will bring down the cost of housing

“Off-the-Grid” housing – Increase the amount of infrastructure-free  vacant Hawaiian Homestead lots granted to DHHL beneficiaries to create more affordable, “aina-based” opportunities for Native Hawaiians.

Homeless Services/Shelters – approx. $15m per year for the next two years, including $1.6 million for shelter support contracts & 3 new shelters, including Wai’anae (HB200)

Energy & Environment

Tire Bill – establish a $1 per imported tire deposit program aimed at increasing funds to combat illegal tire dumping

Environmental Justice (SB 107) – constitutional amendment to reaffirm and strengthen state’s commitment to environmental rights

GMO Awareness – urge “GMO-Free” labeling on produce, fish, meats, and other non-processed foods. (Note: GMO = genetically modified organism; referring to food which has been produced using gene-splicing and other scientific lab-based genetic engineering)

Hawaiian

Hawaiian Immersion – Hawaii state assessment tests for 5th & 6th grade Hawaiian immersion students shall be given in Hawaiian rather than English; resolution urging increased parity between “English as a Second Language” and  “Hawaiian as a Second Language” programs.

E Ala Voyaging Canoe – plan & design E Ala voyaging canoe ocean education center in Wai’anae ($500,000)

Indigenous Rights – rename Discoverer’s Day as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

Ocean & Beaches

Pollution Prevention – authorize use of jet skis for ocean-related community clean ups

Lifeguards (HB 1406) – create new collective bargaining unit for water safety officers

Crime & Public Safety

Sex Abuse (SB 217) – lengthen the statute of limitations for child sex abuse civil suits (Note: The Governor vetoed this bill on 7/12/11; the HD1 version  will be re-introduced in 2012 with a new number)

Witness Identification of Suspects – improve fairness in current system of identification of suspects by eye-witnesses

Flood Mitigation – 3 projects funded in HB 200: Lualualei Flats/Puhawai Stream ($2 mil); Farrington Hwy between Maili & Nanakuli ($8 mil); Lahilahi St. ($1 mil)

Parental Responsibility (SB 216) – encourage parental responsibility by creating misdemeanor offense for inadequate supervision of a minor

Dog Tethering (SB 1424) – create an offense of confinement of a dog by tethering

Ka`ena Point Radio Facility – $1m for one of 9 sites statewide as part of program to improve critical communication systems

Access to Legal Services & Court System

Abandonment of Children & Families – allow service of custody, adoption, guardianship, TRO, and other family-related petitions via posting on Family Court bulletin board when opposing side’s whereabouts are unknown

Arbitration (SB 1488) – Authorizes a default ruling against any party to an arbitration who fails to pay the arbitration fees or costs directed by an arbitrator or arbitration organization.

Business and Economic Development

Job Training – Funding for LCC’s Wai’anae Education Center at the Tycom Building in Maili ($3 mil)

Waianae Agriculture Park – $550,000 for design and construction (HB200)

Sandy Beach/Tourist Attraction Preservation – bills to prohibit all taking of sand from beaches, and improve protection of beaches and coastline through better coordination between state and county programs: Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Special Management Areas (SMA), etc.

TO CHECK FOR BILL STATUS VISIT WWW.CAPITOL.HAWAII.GOV or 21maile.com.  Call my office at 586-7793 if you have any questions or concerns. 

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