Updated: December 5, 2023
The state House of Representatives today passed an additional 77 Senate Bills ahead of Thursdayʻs second crossover deadline. These bills now head back to the Senate for their consideration.
If the Senate disagrees to amendments made by the House, the bills will be negotiated in conference committees. To date, 213 Senate bills have been amended by the House, and crossed over to the Senate after passing third reading.
Key measures passed by the House today include bills relating to electronic smoking devices, child welfare services, a state telework pilot monitoring system, firearms, and destination management in Hawaiʻi.
Below are some highlights from today’s session:
Electronic Smoking Devices
SB975 SD2 HD3 establishes the offense of unlawful shipment of tobacco products. Include electronic smoking devices and e-liquids under the definition of “tobacco products” for purposes of the cigarette tax and tobacco tax law. Imposes an excise tax on e-cigs by a wholesaler or dealer.
“This is a measure that would regulate e-cigarettes as they remain to be the only tobacco product unregulated in the state. This measure would subject e-cigarettes to the current regulations that apply to cigarettes and other tobacco products. This includes taxation, the restriction of online sales and requiring permitting and licensing. This is our only remaining bill to regulate e-cigarettes,” said Representative Trish La Chica (D-37, Portions of Mililani Town, Mililani Mauka, Koa Ridge, and Waipiʻo Gentry).
Child Welfare Services
SB295 SD2 HD2 establishes within the Office of Wellness and Resilience, the Mālama ʻOhana Working Group to provide improvements to the State’s existing child welfare system.
“This would be a working group with various stakeholders that play one part or another in serving this community and interacting as part of the community; whether they be resource caregivers, birth families, or nonprofits. This is a great investment in helping us reform child welfare services and to use their expanded budget well,” said Representative Lisa Marten (D-51,Waimānalo, Keolu Hills, Lanikai, portion of Kailua).
Telework Pilot Study
SB725 SD2 HD2 appropriates funds for the Department of Human Resources Development to submit an annual report to the Legislature on the telework policies of the executive branch, and establishes requirements for a pilot telework monitoring system.
“Telework can be a powerful recruitment tool for filling vacancies in State government, especially for the younger generations. To encourage departments to fully implement the state’s new telework policy, this bill requires a report to the State Legislature of state jobs that can effectively telework, how many of those jobs are authorized to telework, as well as other data to gauge department implementation efforts. This bill also allocates funds to better train managers to effectively manage the productivity of teleworking employees. The bill includes a pilot program for up to three departments to implement a telework monitoring system to track teleworking productivity, focused on deliverables and task completion, to show that teleworking can be effective,” said Representative Scot Z. Matayoshi (D-49, Kāneʻohe, Maunawili).
SB1230 SD2 HD1 establishes sensitive places for firearms and prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in certain circumstances.
“This measure was carefully crafted to make sure that we do comply with the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Bruen Case, where we are allowed to set up a reasonable system of regulation for concealed carry weapons. Members here would be able to vote in support of this measure while being consistent with the Second Amendment,” said Representative David A. Tarnas (D-8,North & South Kohala).
Office of Destination Management
SB1522 SD2 HD2 aims to repeal the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority and establish an Office of Destination Management within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and tourism. It establishes and appropriates funds for a tourism liaison officer within the Office of the Governor.
“There are so many places in our communities that are now inundated by visitors who are seeking an authentic vacation. Destination management is an investment in our local communities and when push comes to shove, we should put people over profits,” said Representative Sean Quinlan (D-47, Waialua, Haleʻiwa, Kawailoa Beach, Waimea, Sunset Beach, Waialeʻe, Kawela Bay, Kahuku, Lāʻie, Hauʻula, Punaluʻu, Kahana).
The House will recess until the Second Crossover deadline on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at noon. To date, 213 Senate measures have been amended and passed third reading in the House. An additional 13 Senate measures have passed third reading in the House unamended.