REPORT FROM THE HOUSE MAJORITY – HONOLULU – On the day the Legislature ended the 2014 session, the House approved bills relating to education, the PUC, juvenile justice, health planning, a conservation easement agreement for 665 acres of pristine undeveloped land on Oahu’s North Shore, and securing funds to execute an exchange for Dole Food lands to preserve agricultural and conservation acreage in Central Oahu while fostering transit-oriented development in Kapolei. The bills now head to the Governor for his consideration.
· HB2434, HD2, SD2, CD1 establishes a method to use Transient Accommodations Tax revenues to pay the debt service on revenue bonds issued by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to acquire a conservation easement in Turtle Bay, Oahu.
· HB1745, HD2, SD2 CD1 amends the operations and governance of public charter schools.
HB1796, HD2, SD1 CD1 establishes conditions and procedures for the use of restraint and prohibits the use of seclusion in public schools.
· HB2257, HD2, SD2 CD1 adjusts the salary cap of the Department of Education Superintendent.
· HB2490, HD2, SD2, CD2 Enhances the juvenile justice system by concentrating on using secure bed space for serious juvenile offenders. Strengthens disposition, adjustment, diversion, and services available for juvenile offenders to ensure family court judges, court staff, departmental staff, and service providers have the tools needed to keep youth safely and effectively in their communities. Increases interagency collaboration. Establishes a temporary Juvenile Justice Oversight Advisory Council.
· SB2948, SD1, HD1, CD2 Transfers the administrative placement of the public utilities commission from the department of budget and finance to the department of commerce and consumer affairs. Clarifies the public utilities commission’s authority concerning standard administrative practices, including operational expenditures and the hiring of personnel. Enables the chair of the public utilities commission to appoint, employ, and dismiss an executive officer, fiscal officer, and personnel officer. Establishes that the executive director of the division of consumer advocacy shall be the consumer advocate. Appropriates funds to effectuate the transfer of the public utilities commission and for the hiring of an executive officer, fiscal officer, and personnel officer.
· HB1616, HD1, SD1 Adds to the Hawaii State Planning Act’s objectives and policies for health, the identification of social determinants of health and prioritization of programs, services, interventions, and activities that address identified social determinants of health to improve Native Hawaiian health and well-being in accordance with federal law and reduce health disparities of disproportionately affected demographics.