Legislatively Speaking: 05-13-19

Aloha! I am very grateful to be your State Representative. Today I am reporting on the work of the 2019 Legislature, which ended May 2. While I’m happy with many bills we passed, I am also disappointed in the Legislature’s inability to pass other important legislation. There is lots more work to do next session.

This article highlights some of the successful legislation that I supported this session. A more complete list is included in my e-newsletter, which my office is happy to email to you. More details on all these bills are available at www.capitol.hawaii.gov.


Major Bills:

Hawaii Island Disaster Relief

HB1180 – Appropriates $60 million for disaster relief, recovery, mitigation, and remediation activities for Hawaii County.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness

SB471 – Appropriates funds for homelessness services, including outreach, rapid re-housing, housing first, family assessment centers, stored property and debris removal services, and the state rent supplemental program.

SB398 – Provides for government procurement training to nonprofit organizations offering homeless outreach services in rural areas.

SB1494 – Establishes a working group to identify steps to promote effective, coordinated care for persons experiencing substance abuse, mental health conditions, and homelessness.

HB257 – Authorizes the use of private lands for the Ohana Zones Pilot Program.

HB1312 – Authorizes the use of general obligation bonds for rental housing support.


SB78 – Establishes the Executive Office on Early Learning as the administrative authority for state-funded prekindergarten programs.

HB1276 – Establishes a working group to consider and develop best practices for collaborative planning by teachers and expanded learning time for students.


HB1270 – Extends the hospital sustainability program for two years.

SB1404 – Appropriates funds for a loan repayment program for health care providers.

SB1246 – Establishes goals for the adoption of telehealth to increase health care access.

Voting Reform

HB1248 – Implements mail-in voting for all elections, commencing in 2020.

SB1058 – Requires the Attorney General to prepare a clear statement for each proposed constitutional amendment

Marine Resources and Ocean Recreation

HB116 – Appropriates funds for Lifeguards and Lifeguarding Equipment at Kua Bay ($480,000)

HB2 – Appropriates funds for consultation with stakeholders to plan for the 30×30 Marine Initiative ($250,900)

HB808 – Protects all rays in state marine waters.

Environmental Sustainability

HB1548 – Appropriates funds to study and combat rapid ohia death.

SB522 – Creates the Plastic Source Reduction Working Group to make recommendations to reuse, reduce, recycle, and recover plastic waste.

HB297 – Directs review of potential use of the Aedes aegypti mosquito with Wolbachia bacteria for large-scale mosquito control.

HB1558 – Updates the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan.

HB852 – Establishes the Hawaii State Energy Office and appropriates funds for a study of carbon pricing.

HB444 – Requires the Department of Health (DOH) to adopt rules for onsite non-potable water reuse systems by 2021.

HB551 – Extends the Cesspool Conversion Working Group, their statewide study of sewage contamination in nearshore waters, and the Comprehensive Cesspool Conversion Plan.

HCR168 – Urges the DOH to convene a task force and report to the legislature recommending potential sources of funding to support the Hawaii Wildlife Center facility and their public service of rehabilitating injured native birds and bats.


SB375 – Requires the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to develop a strategic plan to double local food production and increase food exports by 2030.

SB390 – Creates a dollar-for-dollar matching program for beneficiaries of the federal SNAP program to purchase Hawaii-grown produce.

HB463 – Funds a Food Safety Certification Training Program to assist small to medium sized farms to comply with USDA Good Agricultural Practices Certification Program.

SB753 – Appropriates funds for revitalizing the Aquaculture Development Program.

SB759 – Establishes a 2-year pilot project to examine the effectiveness of prosecuting agricultural theft and vandalism in the counties of Hawaii and Maui.

SB1353 – Establishes a permanent industrial hemp program.

SB1148 – Appropriates funds for loans to support local ranchers and farmers.

For more information:

Please join me at these upcoming community meetings to discuss the 2019 Legislature’s results and the work ahead:

• May 13 5-7 p.m. at Old Judiciary Building in Kapaau.

• May 14 9-10 a.m. at Waimea Seniors Club meeting in Waimea.


• May 15 6-8 p.m. at Waikoloa School Cafeteria.

Contact me at 586-8510 or reptarnas@capitol.hawaii.gov. Mahalo!

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