Here is the status of major bills near the halfway point of the 60-day legislative session. The bills that are alive have passed at least one chamber of the Legislature, or are about to pass.
The bills that are failing were not approved by the House or Senate by Thursday’s procedural deadline. Failing bills can be revived later, however, and measures can be rewritten to change their effect before the session adjourns in May.
GOVERNMENT: PASSING BILLS
State budget — HB100 HD1
Would authorize $13.9 billion in state spending in the year that begins July 1, and $14.1 billion in state spending the following year.
Media access — SB655 SD2
Would allow the news media access under some circumstances to areas closed to the public under the emergency management powers of the governor and mayor. Limits the liability of the state and counties.
Vote by mail — HB1401 HD1
Would launch voting by mail in all Hawaii counties in all elections beginning in 2020.
Tax returns — HB1581 HD1 / SB150 SD1
Would prohibit electors in the electoral college to vote for candidates for U.S. president and vice president unless those candidates publicly disclose their federal income tax returns.
Vexatious requests — HB1518 HD1
Would allow the state Office of Information Practices to declare a person a vexatious records requester and restrict that person’s right to request public records under the Uniform Information Practices Act.
LUC powers — SB629 SD1
Would allow the state Land Use Commission to fine petitioners or modify orders granting district boundary amendments if a petitioner or its successors fail to comply with conditions imposed by the commission.
Airport authority — SB658 SD2
Would create the Hawaii airport corporation within the Department of Transportation and transfer the DOT’s aeronautics functions to the newly created airport authority.
Shared leave — HB1402 HD2
Would expand the state’s shared leave program to allow state workers to donate accumulated sick leave credits to fellow employees who have serious personal illnesses or injuries, or who need to care for family members.
GOVERNMENT: FAILING BILLS
Would prohibit a sitting governor or mayor from maintaining outside employment or receiving emoluments.
Would mandate that any judges who want to continue on the bench after their first terms expire must obtain the consent of the Senate. The State Judicial Selection Commission now decides whether judges are retained.
Would transfer certain fines and forfeitures collected for uncontested traffic infractions to the counties.
Would authorize the Hawaii State Auditor to receive and review confidential tax and other information, and would allow the auditor to report information necessary to explain and support its recommendations.
Would require both chambers of the Legislature to allow persons to use prerecorded videos to present oral testimony at legislative committee hearings.
Would establish a cause of legal action for neighbors of state lands that have not been properly maintained, and would authorize compensation for damages incurred due to the state’s breach of duty.
TAXES: PASSING BILLS
Rail tax — SB1183 SD2
Would discontinue the state practice of taking 10 percent of collections from the city’s excise tax surcharge on Oahu, a step that would provide about $30 million extra per year for the city to help pay for rail. Would require the city use its own funds to complete the $10 billion project. A separate House proposal would extend the Oahu half-percent excise tax surcharge in perpetuity to fund rail, would allow the neighbor island counties to impose their own excise surcharges and would provide some money from the surcharges to the state Department of Transportation.
Poverty tax cut — HB375 HD1
Would amend Hawaii’s income tax rates to eliminate any income tax liability for those at or below poverty thresholds.
Tax the rich — HB690 HD1
Would decrease income tax rates by about 25 percent for all but the top income earners. Reinstates higher income tax brackets and rates for higher-income taxpayers similar to those that were imposed in 2009 and repealed in 2015.
E-cigarette tax — SB404 SD2
Would impose an excise tax on e-cigarettes or electronic smoking devices effective Jan. 1.
Online taxes — SB620 SD2
Would require online companies that do more than $100,000 worth of business in Hawaii to collect state excise taxes from consumers.
Vehicle value tax — HB1587 HD1
Would replace the state’s vehicle weight tax with a new tax based on the value of each vehicle.
REIT deduction — HB1012 HD2
Would disallow the deduction for dividends paid by real estate investment trusts for 15 years, effectively taxing REITs like other corporations. Housing that is affordable for families earning below 140 percent of median family income would be exempt.
E911 tax — HB206 HD2
Would establish a surcharge on prepaid wireless telephone purchases to pay for enhanced 911 service for the phones.
Marijuana tax — HB263 HD2
Would impose the general excise tax on medical marijuana and use some of the tax collected to pay for regulating the marijuana industry.
TAXES: FAILING BILLS
Would increase the state gasoline tax, weight tax and vehicle registration fees to fund projects to ease highway congestion and improve highway maintenance.
Would increase the real estate conveyance tax for properties worth $2 million or more to provide more money for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund.
Would establish an excise tax on basalt cinder and trap rock sold by wholesalers or dealers.
EDUCATION: PASSING BILLS
Teachers’ tax — SB683 SD2
Would propose amending the state Constitution to establish a tax on certain residential investment properties and visitor accommodations to fund the state’s public education system. The proposal would be included as a ballot initiative.
Public school funding — SB686 SD2
Specifies that investment properties valued at $2 million or more would be taxed an additional $7.50 per $1,000 of total property value to help fund the state’s public education system. Specifies what types of properties would be taxed. The measure is dependent upon voters approving a ballot measure proposed in SB 683.
College scholarships — SB1162 SD2 / HB1594 HD1
Would provide scholarships to students based on financial need at any campus within the University of Hawaii system through a program called the University of Hawaii Promise Program.
Charter school support — HB533 HD1
Would appropriate funds for charter school facilities.
Charter school start-ups — SB197 SD1
Would appropriate funds for start-up grants for newly approved public charter schools.
School impact fees — HB884 HD1 / SB1146 SD2
Would exempt affordable housing units from school impact fees.
Selective service — SB419 SD2
Would require males between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for the selective service upon enrolling in a state-supported college, including community colleges, education centers or any branch of the University of Hawaii. Would also require young men to register for the draft to be eligible for state financial aid and state employment.
EDUCATION: FAILING BILLS
College tuition freeze
Would prohibit the University of Hawaii Board of Regents from increasing college tuition for a decade.
Public school innovation grants
Would establish the Public School Innovation Grants Program, which would allocate grants to public schools that come up with innovative ways to teach children that help close achievement gaps and prepare students for an innovation economy.
Would allow graduate students at the University of Hawaii who work as employees for at least 20 hours per week to unionize.
Would require colleges to disclose if they are for-profit entities in advertisements, promotional materials and contracts for instruction.
CONSUMER PROTECTION/LABOR: PASSING BILLS
Vacation rentals — HB1471 HD3
Would allow online vacation rental sites, like Airbnb, to collect state taxes from both legal and illegal vacation rentals when accepting bookings in Hawaii.
Paid sick leave — HB4 HD1
Would require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees to care for themselves or a family member who is ill. Full-time workers would be granted a minimum of 40 hours sick leave per year to be accrued at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked.
Stop-work orders — HB208 HD2
Would authorize the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations to serve employers with stop-work orders who don’t carry the required workers’ compensation coverage. Would increase penalties for not complying with workers’ compensation laws.
Child support — SB891 SD2 / HB1025 HD2
Would fine an employer who discriminates against an employee who is subject to income withholding for failure to pay child support by terminating, disciplining or refusing to employ the person. Fines employers who fail to withhold income from employees subject to child support orders.
Child day care insurance — HB674 HD2
Would require child care providers subject to regulation by the Department of Human Services to maintain liability insurance.
Child day care inspections — SB511 / SD2
Would require the Department of Human Services to publish reports of child care facility inspections and complaint investigations on its website.
Payday loans — SB286 SD1
Would provide consumer protections for borrowers who take out payday loans, including the right to convert a payday loan to an installment loan, protections against harmful collection practices, prohibitions on prepayment penalties, and a cap on annual percentage rates at 36 percent.
Food safety — SB803 SD2
Would create an income tax credit to assist farmers with expenses related to compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.
CONSUMER PROTECTION/LABOR: FAILING BILLS
Would legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, and sale of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who disclose or inquire about their co-worker’s wages.
Would prohibit the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources from issuing fishing licenses to foreign crew who aren’t allowed to enter the country. The bill is in response to allegations of labor abuses aboard vessels that bring in ahi to Honolulu Harbor.
Would appropriate funds to implement 2016 recommendations made by Kauai’s Joint Fact Finding Study Group, including increased data collection and monitoring of potential health and environmental impacts of pesticide use by large agricultural users.
CRIME: PASSING BILLS
Paraphernalia — HB1501 HD2 Would reclassify all felony drug paraphernalia offenses as noncriminal violations, making them punishable by fines of $100 but no jail time.
Red-light cameras — SB221 SD2 Would create a red-light enforcement program to be run by the counties using fixed cameras mounted at intersections. Lawmakers would implement the system in 2019 to issue tickets to motorists who run red lights.
Domestic abuse — SB1282 SD1 Would eliminate the current mandatory minimum 30-day jail sentence for a second offense of misdemeanor domestic abuse. Would make a third offense in five years a Class C felony offense; currently, a third offense in two years is a felony.
Fireworks — HB1172 HD2 Would allow police to use witness accounts as well as photographs or video that are authenticated by witnesses to determine a fireworks violation has occurred. Holds property owners responsible if they knowingly allow others to launch illegal fireworks.
New prison — HB462 HD2 Would require prison officials to solicit proposals for a new 3,000-bed prison in Hawaii to allow the state to bring back more than 1,300 state inmates now serving their sentences at a private prison in Arizona.
Firearm checks — SB1037 SD2 Would require police departments to notify county prosecuting attorneys, the attorney general, the U.S. attorney and the Department of Public Safety when an application for a firearm license is denied.
Firearm seizure — SB898 SD2 Would allow a judge to prohibit a person from possessing firearms if that person is deemed to pose a “serious risk of violence or harm to public safety.”
Prison solitary — SB603 SD1 Would restrict the use of disciplinary segregation or solitary confinement in corrections facilities to no more than 14 days during any 30-day period.
CRIME: FAILING BILLS
Would repeal penalties for consensual adult prostitution and promotion of adult prostitution.
Would allow the prison system to release some types of felony offenders to ease prison and jail overcrowding if the offenders’ bail is set at less than $10,000 and the offenders are not charged with serious or violent crimes.
Would eliminate the requirement that people accused of misdemeanors post bail before being released.
Would require judges to determine the minimum prison terms that convicted offenders must serve before becoming eligible for parole. Minimum terms are now set by the Hawaii Paroling Authority.
Would establish a Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform to develop policies to reduce Hawaii’s incarcerated population by 25 percent by 2025.
Authorizes the attorney general to collect data on the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system.
HEALTH/SOCIAL SERVICES: PASSING BILLS
Physician-assisted dying — SB1129 SD2
Would allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill patients lethal doses of drugs.
Pregnancy centers — SB501 SD1
Would require clinics run by religious organizations opposed to abortion to notify women of where they can obtain health insurance, if needed, that will cover free or low-cost abortions, prenatal care and contraception. Would require the clinics to comply with patient privacy requirements.
Smoking in vehicles — SB261 SD1
Would prohibit smoking in a motor vehicle when a minor is present.
Mental health — SB384 SD2
Would allow psychologists to prescribe drugs to treat mental disorders if they undergo specified training. The measure seeks to address the shortage of psychiatrists within the state.
Earned tax credit — SB648 SD1 / HB670 HD1
Would establish a state earned income tax credit for lower-income working families. SB 648 would also reduce income tax rates for the poor.
Renters credit — HB209 HD1
Would expand the renters’ income tax credit for low-income households, and establish a state earned income tax credit. Would increase income tax rates for high-income brackets.
Food tax credit — HB932 HD1
Would gradually increase the food tax credit to refund to lower-income families some of the state taxes they pay on food.
Naturopathic medicine — SB223 SD2
Would allow naturopathic physicians to prescribe testosterone.
School-based health services — HB672 HD2
Would provide funding to expand the Hawaii Keiki Healthy and Ready to Learn Program, which provides health care services within public schools. Would create positions for health services coordinators within the Department of Health and Department of Human Services, while formally establishing the program within the Department of Education.
HEALTH/SOCIAL SERVICES: FAILING BILLS
Would require the counties to put fluoride in public water systems to help prevent tooth decay.
Would provide funding to the Hawaii Department of Health for lead prevention activities.
Would require the Attorney General to provide annual reports to the Legislature on testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits; would afford certain rights to survivors of sexual assault; and would implement mandatory testing requirements.
Would require the Public Utilities Commission to establish discounted electric rates for low-income customers.
ENVIRONMENT: PASSING BILLS
Sea walls — HB437 HD2
Would prohibit landowners from installing a sea wall or other shoreline-hardening structure without holding a public hearing first.
Coral reefs — SB1150 SD2
Would prohibit using sunscreen containing oxybenzone while at the beach or in the ocean to protect coral reefs.
Climate change — SB559 SD1
Would incorporate requirements in the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming into state law in case President Donald Trump withdraws from the treaty.
Cesspools — HB1244 HD1
Would phase out the state’s cesspools by 2050, requiring homeowners to convert to a septic system or aerobic treatment system, or connect to a sewer system. Would establish a grant program to assist homeowners with the costs and extend the cesspool income tax credit to apply to more cesspools, as well as make the credit assignable and refundable.
Sewage spills — HB1300 HD1
Would require the University of Hawaii’s Environmental Center to conduct ongoing studies on the environmental impacts of sewage spills on coral reefs and submit annual reports to the Legislature.
ENVIRONMENT: FAILING BILLS
Would require large agricultural companies to provide public disclosure about their pesticide use and alert facilities serving children and elderly before spraying chemicals in their vicinity.
Would prohibit food vendors from using Styrofoam and other polystyrene containers.
Would require the Navy’s Red Hill underground storage tanks to be upgraded, including installing secondary containment systems, to protect Oahu’s drinking water supply from fuel leaks.
Would prohibit the noise level of mufflers or exhaust systems on motorcycles, motor scooters, mopeds and motor vehicles from emitting a noise level exceeding 60 decibels, with certain exceptions. Would provide a graduated schedule of fines for first, second and subsequent violations.
Would prohibit the use of pesticides containing the chemical ingredient chlorpyrifos, which has been shown to carry neuro-developmental risks, particularly for young children.
Would create the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Program within the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to coordinate state management responsibilities with federal authorities.
HOMELESS: PASSING BILLS
Mobile court — HB457 HD1 / SB718 SD1
Would continue the community court outreach project in Honolulu, which operates a mobile court that travels to areas where the homeless congregate to use plea agreements to resolve cases involving nonviolent offenses.
Homeless camps — HB83 HD1
Would allow the state Department of Human Services to establish “puuhonua safe zones” where the homeless would be allowed to camp. A similar measure died in the Senate.
Homeless clinics — HB527, HD1 / SB347 SD1
Would appropriate an unspecified amount of money to operate two mobile clinics to serve the homeless population. The original bills proposed a budget of $1.4 million.
Trespass law — HB1142 / SB895 SD1
Would create the petty misdemeanor offense of criminal trespass onto improved state Department of Transportation lands, including the areas under freeways. The new trespass offense would be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The Senate version would apply to all improved state lands.
Medicaid funding — SB7 SD2
Would require the state Department of Human Services and Department of Health to pursue efforts to use federal Medicaid funding to provide housing services for chronically homeless people.
Camp sweeps — SB717 SD2
Would establish a sheriff’s patrol program to enforce laws against trespassing and illegal camping on state land, and create a program to clean up state property after the departure of people who illegally camped there.
Homeless funding — HB1240 HD2
Would appropriate an unspecified amount of money for a coordinated statewide homeless initiative to include use of housing subsidies to prevent homelessness and rapid rehousing services statewide. Aloha United Way currently has an emergency contract to provide those services. The original bill proposed $3.5 million for the effort.
HOMELESS: FAILING BILLS
Would create the offense of urinating or defecating in a urine-free zone, and designate playgrounds and bus stops as urine-free zones. Would establishes fines for violations, but allow offenders to complete drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment programs in lieu of paying fines.
Would establish a pre-arrest diversion pilot project for people with mental health or substance abuse challenges to refer them for mental health treatment if they commit nonviolent, non-felony offenses on state property.
Would establish a 60-day residency requirement for eligibility for public assistance and state low-income housing.
Would require all health insurance plans in the state to provide coverage for the treatment of homelessness.