Hawaiʻi U.S. Rep. Ed Case announced that millions in federal funding have been secured to directly benefit the Native Hawaiian community.
Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for all federal discretionary spending, highlighted Native Hawaiian projects and initiatives in a $1.7 trillion omnibus funding measure recently approved by Congress and signed into law by the president.
A news release from his office Friday said the following provisions were sought by Case:
• Native Hawaiian education: $45.9 million, a $7 million increase, for the Native Hawaiian Education Program. Of these funds, Case also secured $10 million in set-aside money to specifically fund construction, renovation and modernization of Native Hawaiian schools and education program – the first time ever program funds will be made available for capital improvements. Case also secured additional report language directing the U.S. Department of Education to provide sufficient funding to the Native Hawaiian Education Council and offer technical assistance to quality applicants with experience educating Native Hawaiian children and youth. These new requirements seek to address concerns raised by Native Hawaiian education advocates and improve the program’s impact on Native Hawaiian community.
• Native Hawaiian health care: $27 million, a $5 million increase, for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Program. Of these funds, $10 million will be made available to Papa Ola Lōkahi for administrative purposes including strengthening the capacity of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and supporting additional activities such as expanded research and surveillance of Native Hawaiian health issues.
• Native Hawaiian housing: $22.3 million for the Native Hawaiian housing block grant program, which supports affordable housing and community development activities for Native Hawaiians eligible to reside on Hawaiian Home Lands.
• Native Hawaiian veterans: $5 million to create a new Center for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islander Health inside the Department of Veterans Affairs. It will focus on research, data collection and potential practice improvements to better serve these veterans.
• Native Hawaiian Resource Center on Domestic Violence: $2 million, an increase of $1 million, to support the continued implementation of the Native Hawaiian Resource Center on Domestic Violence. The center will provide supportive services for adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence in Native Hawaiian communities.
Case-sponsored CPF projects to support the Native Hawaiian community include the following:
• $1.7 million for the King Lunalilo Trust and Home to support capital improvements to the facility, Lunalilo Home is licensed as a Type II Expanded Adult Residential Care Home that provides housing and services to disadvantaged Native Hawaiian kūpuna.
• $1.8 million for Kula no na Poe Hawaii (KULA) to provide academic supports and wrap-around services to children and youth of the Hawaiian homestead communities of Papakōlea, Kewalo and Kalawahine. KULA partners with neighboring public schools to improve student’s educational outcomes, classroom attendance and social and emotional learning through culturally sensitive interventions.
“Native Hawaiians are a unique community within our national fabric, and so are many of their challenges and needs, especially in health care, education and housing,” Case said in the news release. “I successfully sought millions in funding to support and advance various Native Hawaiian economic, cultural, educational and health initiatives.”
“The 2023 omnibus spending bill builds on past funding increases I have been able to secure for Native Hawaiian-serving programs and includes new funding to support specific needs within the Native Hawaiian community,” he added.