Updated: May 29, 2023
Governor Josh Green, M.D. highlighted progress made in the first six months of his administration in the areas of affordable housing, homelessness, the high cost of living, healthcare, education and the environment.
“The people of Hawaiʻi have sent a clear message,” said Governor Green. “They want action on some of the biggest challenges facing our state and we have heard them. In just six months since inauguration, we are already making progress on these very important issues,” he said in a news release update.
Gov. Green outlined some of the key accomplishments in the areas originally shared in his State of the State address and made possible with the collaborative efforts of the state legislature.
- $280 million for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund
- $150 million for the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority for housing development infrastructure improvements
- $100 million for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund
- Mobilization of the $600 million for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to build new housing for thousands of Native Hawaiian families
- $60 million for new kauhale villages and ‘Ohana Zones
- A medical respite kauhale across from the Capitol to help homeless who need extra care upon discharge from hospitals
- $15 million for programs like the State Rent Supplement, Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing Program, and Homeless Outreach Services
- Initial phase of tax reform launched to lower the cost of living in Hawaiʻi
- Part one of the Green Affordability Plan (GAP), which will double the income tax credit and food tax credit and increase the existing child and dependent care tax credit
- $30 million over two years for creation of a universal loan repayment program for medical professionals who commit to working and serving in the islands to address the healthcare worker shortage and to attract and retain medical professionals.
- $74 million per year in state and federal funds to raise Medicaid rates and improve care for 450,000+ Hawaiʻi residents
- $128 million for much-needed improvements to hospitals on Hawaiʻi island, Maui, and Kauaʻi
- $14 million for Hawaiʻi’s nursing facilities and Family Assessment Centers to expand healthcare access for the most vulnerable citizens
- Successfully worked with the HSTA to establish a new contract that would raise salaries for the state’s 13,500 teachers, increase starting pay to attract new teachers, and grant bonuses for Hawaiʻi’s most experienced educators to improve retention
- Delivered needed tax relief for those affected by the fuel spill at Red Hill
- Formed the Governor’s Commission on Water Safety to oversee the safe shutdown of Red Hill and enact measures to protect the water supply
- $100 million for the Hawaiʻi Green Infrastructure Authority to lower the energy burden for more than 4,000 households in Hawaiʻi
Gov. Green also reported progress in government transparency and accountability.
Justice, Equality, and Diversity
- Passed several new laws to reform ethics, lobbying, and campaign spending in the political system
- Appointed two additional women justices to expand diversity in the court system
- Protected reproductive healthcare rights and providers from criminal prosecution
- Expanded access to reproductive healthcare services
“As stated in my first address as governor to the state legislature, we will continue to take bold action on the issues that matter most to the people of our state, actions that will provide relief, strengthen our communities, protect our environment, and just make Hawaiʻi a place we can continue to live in and be proud to call our home.”
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/05/22/gov-green-shines-light-on-progress-of-key-initiatives-in-first-6-months/