District 25 News, March 2011


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District 25 News, March 2011

  1. 1. District 25 NewsMAKIKI, TANTALUS, MCCULLY, PAPAKOLEA MARCH 2011 (Left to Right): Representative Della Au Be- latti (D-Makiki-Tantalus), then-Representative Mina Morita (D-East-North Kauai), and Representative Sylvia Luke (D-Pacific Heights- Punchbowl-Pauoa) celebrate Rep. Morita’s last day as a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives. On March 14, 2011, Rep. Morita was confirmed by the Senate as Governor Neil Abercrombie’s new head of the Public Utilities Commission. Rep. Morita served as the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee chair and was responsible for such important initia- tives as the "bottle bill" for recycling beverage containers. A tireless advocate for renewable energy and my good friend, she will be greatly missed. Aloha! This month the Legislature passed an important deadline as bills originating in one body of the legislature were required to “crossover” to the second body for further consideration, discussion, and voting. Here, in this issue of District 25 News, I share with you brief summaries of a few of the lesser-known bills that were reviewed and passed by the House to meet this crucial legislative deadline. Also this month, the Senate confirmed several of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s executive branch appointments, including new Public Utilities Commissioner Mina Morita. Please join the Governor and myself as we welcome Mina at an informal talk story session on Thursday, April 14, at The Parish of St. Clement’s, beginning 5:00pm. I hope to see you there. And as always, please feel to contact me by email at repbelatti@capitol.hawaii.gov or by phone at 586-9425. I welcome your input and comments, and I look forward to working with you throughout the legislative session. Aloha pumehana, Della Au Belatti State Representative, District 25
  2. 2. Mid-Session Legislative Update for 2011The 2011 Mid-Session Legislative General Excise and Use Taxes; Suspension of Exemptions. Temporarily suspending general exciseUpdate is a preliminary report of some tax and use tax exemptions for certain sources of revenue and income and requiring those individualsof the bills passed by the Hawaii House and organizations to pay a specified tax rate thatof Representatives up to First Crossover, gradually increases from January 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015 (HB799 HD1).or the midpoint of the 2011 RegularSession. As the legislative session is stillin progress, the status of the measures EDUCATIONlisted here will continue to change as Public School Lands Trust.they move on to the Senate for consid- Maximizes the use of public school lands and provides aeration. mechanism to generate income to construct, repair, and retrofit public schools to meet current and future challenges by estab- THE STATE BUDGET lishing the Public School & TAXATION Lands Trust (Trust), to which all public school lands from the Department of Education are to be trans- Rainy Day Fund; ferred, and establishes the Public School Lands Trust Commission within the Department of Land and Allocation. Temporarily Natural Resources to manage, administer, and control redirecting funds from the the Trust (HB952 HD1). tobacco settlement moneys allocated to the Emergency Charter School Facilities. Assists charter schools and Budget Reserve Fund with the costs of facilities and facilities maintenance (i.e., The Rainy Day Fund) by establishing a funding formula by which theand the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Department of Education must allocate funding spe-Fund, to the general fund for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal cifically for charter school facilities (HB159 HD1).years (HB1267 HD1). Keiki Caucus; Safe Schools Act; Bullying. CreatesTransient Accommodations Tax; County Distribu- a safe learning environment for all students in publiction. Requiring the counties to share in the responsi- schools by defining the terms "bullying",bility of exercising fiscal restraint and responsibility "cyberbullying", and "harassment" under Chapterduring lean economic times by limiting the amount 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HB688 HD2).of transient accommodations tax revenues distributedto the counties to an aggregate total of no more than Hawaii-Grown Produce. Encourages the use of$101,978,000, until June 30, 2015 (HB795 HD1). locally-grown produce by:Transient Accommodations Tax; Resort Time (1) Establishing programs that increase the procure-Share. Assisting the State in addressing its fiscal ment of locally-grown fruits and vegetables inneeds by: public schools, facilitate the consumption of lo- cally-produced nutritious snacks, and contract(1) Temporarily increasing, from July 1, 2011, to with local farmers to provide Hawaii-grown pro- June 30, 2015, the Transient Accommodations duce to low-income individuals through desig- Tax (TAT) rate assessed on the occupants of resort nated food banks; and time share vacation units by an additional two percent on the fair market rental value; and (2) Authorizing schools to grow food in school gardens (HB1380 HD3).(2) Depositing revenues collected from the TAT increase into the general fund (HB809 HD2). Continued on page 3 2
  3. 3. House Legislative update continued from page 2 tive eligibility; and (4) Requiring DHS to conduct a study of computer- HEALTHCARE ized Medicaid application systems (HB596 HD1). University of Hawaii; Medical Doctor Loan Tobacco Settlement Funds; Program. Establishes the Hawaii Medical Doctor Health Care and Social Service Loan Program to provide low-interest loans with Appropriations. Ensures the waiver provisions to: continuation of vital programs and services by: (1) Students who complete a state-approved medical school program at the University of Hawaii; or (1) Appropriating funds from the Hawaii Tobacco Settlement Special Fund for costs (2) Graduates of a medical school who received medi- associated with Medicaid programs and costs as- cal training from a Hawaii-based medical pro- sociated with comprehensive health care services; gram,(2) Appropriating funds for a new eligibility system, (3) who agree to practice medicine in rural areas of the Preschool Open Doors Program, and the the State (HB902 HD2). Kupuna Care Program, and for implementing the electronic health records program;(3) Appropriating funds for all purchase-of-service contracts for court substance abuse programs ENVIRONMENT and the HOPE probation program; and(4) Appropriating funds to match the federal dispro- Renewable Energy; portionate share hospital allowance allocated to Third-Party Producers. the State (HB1267 HD1). Supports the States overall clean energy objectives by:Health care-Associated Infection Reporting.Establishes health care-associated infection reporting (1) Specifying that certainrequirements. Effective January 7, 2059 third-party owners and op-(HB 889 HD 2). erators of on-site renewable energy generating systemsHawaii Health Benefit Exchange. Allows the State are exempt from being regulated as a publicto conform to new federal regulations under the utility; andPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, (2) Requiring the Public Utilities Commission toas amended by the Health Care and Education Recon- monitor the impact of net energy metering, includ-ciliation Act of 2010, by establishing a private, non- ing the costs and benefits of net energy meteringprofit Hawaii Health Benefit Exchange to facilitatethe purchase and sale of qualified health plans (HB1520 HD2).(HB1201 HD1). Renewable Energy; Transmission Cable. Acts toMedicaid; Presumptive Eligibility. Provides efficient protect Hawaiis environment, attain Hawaiis inde- pendence from fossil fuel reliance, and support Ha-and effective processing of Medicaid applications by: waiis renewable energy policy and goals by establish-(1) Requiring the Department of Human Services ing a regulatory structure under which inter-island (DHS) to apply Medicaid presumptive eligibility undersea transmission cables for the transmission of to patients who have been waitlisted for long-term electricity generated from renewable energy as its care; source can be commercially developed, financed, and constructed (HB1176 HD3).(2) Disenrolling patients who are later determined to be ineligible for Medicaid after receiving services Sustainability; Barrel Tax. Ensures Hawaiis energy during the period of presumptive eligibility; and food security by increasing the allocated amounts for energy and food security from the environmental(3) Providing reimbursement to the provider or plan response, energy, and food security tax, commonly for services provided during the time the wait- known as the barrel tax (HB1019 HD1). listed patient was enrolled pursuant to presump- 3
  4. 4. Tsunami refuge zone in MakikiThe tsunami in Japan and its after House District 25, is not located located at 1527 Keeaumokumath in areas around the world, within a tsunami evacuation zone Street, between Wilder and H-1,including here in Hawaii, are a or inundation zone. But in event is one of 24 locations aroundsober reminder that natural disas- of another force majeure occur- Oahu where residents comingters can be truly global events. ring far from or close to home, from evacuation zones may seek Makiki hosts a designated Refuge temporary cover. Refuge zonesLuckily Makiki, a.k.a. State Area. Makiki District Park, are not shelters, but act to provideMap 1: Waikiki shows the tsunamievacuation zone that most relates toMakiki, but does not include areas ofMakiki.Map 1 covers the shoreline betweenAla Moana Beach Park and DiamondHead. It includes the Hawaii Conven-tion Center, Waikiki, the HonoluluZoo, and Kapiolani Park. All areasinland of Kapiolani Boulevard on thismap are safe except for the area be-tween Kalakaua Avenue and McCullyStreets. Between Kalakaua Avenueand McCully Streets the minimumsafe zone begins one block inlandfrom Kapiolani Blvd. Minimum safedistance begins inland on Date Street,and inland of Paki Avenue. RetrievedMarch 23, 2011 fromhttp://www.honolulu.gov/dem. An “inundation zone” is the area where tsunami waves are expected to reach. A designated“evacuation zone” includes the inundation zone as well as a safety buffer. The safety buffer is determined by science advisors who analyze inun- dation data, area elevation and terrain, and historical tsunami run-ups to rec- M Ts aki ommend the additional area to public un ki safety officials. If you are located in a am Dis i r tri evacuation zone, regardless if you’re a ef c t ug Pa resident or just visiting the area, you e a rk re a must leave if ordered to do so. Makiki District Park is one of Oahu’s designated Refuge Areas for residents in the evacuation zone. Residents must bring all supplies with them such as non-perishable foods, water, extra clothing and other necessary supplies. Designated Refuge Locations are not shelters, however, they provide a safe place outside of the evacuation zone for residents to gather, access a restroom and drinking water. Continued on page 5 4
  5. 5. Makiki tsunami refuge continued from page 4a safe place for residents to For maps of all the evacuation nearest Refuge Area by searchinggather, use the restroom and ac- zones, check your telephone on www.staradvertiser.com.cess drinking water. Evacuation white pages or visit http:// As of this writing, C&C of Honolulushelters will be opened if needed www1.honolulu.gov/dem/ and if Department of Emergency Management hadfollowing the ALL CLEAR given your home is not located in an only issued a press release with the refugefrom government officials. evacuation zone, find out if your locations. workplace is. Then locate the Giving with Aloha to those in Japan Hawaii business leaders, members of the Japanese American community, Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz and Japan Consul General Yo-shihiko Kamo convened to organize a coordinated, statewide effort to collect donations for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. Lieutenant Governor Schatz, who was asked by Governor Neil Abercrombie to help coordinate Japan relief efforts, also consulted all four county mayors by telephone. Additional ways to support relief efforts in Japan: Hawaiis largest banking institutions, including Ameri- American Red Cross can Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Hawaii State Chapter Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii (808) 734-2101 National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Pacific Rim Bank, www.hawaiiredcross.org and Territorial Savings Bank, have all agreed to serve Japan America Society of Hawaii as collection points for monetary donations. Those (808) 524-4450 wishing to contribute to this relief effort can make do- nations directly with branch tellers at participating www.jashawaii.org banks. Checks should be made payable to "Aloha for UNICEF Japan." Donation checks can also be mailed to: Aloha 1-800-FOR-KIDS for Japan, 2454 South Beretania Street, Suite 201, www.unicefusa.org Honolulu, HI 96826. International Medical Corps Special “Aloha for Japan” T-shirts are being sold at 1-800-481-4462 HiLife/ButiGroove Hawaii (500 Piikoi St.); Fitted Ha- www.internationalmedicalcorps.org waii (1438 Kona St., #B); In4mation locations, (Ward Warehouse and Pearlridge); Aloha Army (226 Lewers Save the Children St.) and Barefoot League (880 Kapahulu Ave.). $20 1-800-728-3843 per shirt, with 100% of all proceeds going to relief www.savethechildren.org efforts. For more information, please visit www.AlohaforJapan.com. Please check local news sources for events and other ways of lending your support to relief efforts. 5
  6. 6. The Shortlist Makik Friday, April 1, 2011 Thursday, April 14, Town i Saturday, April 16, 2011 2011 Hall “Art at the Capitol” , Saturday Movie Night at Makiki Hawaii State Capitol Makiki Town Hall with Community Library @ 5:00-7:00pm Public Utilities Commis- Showing begins @ 6:00pm sioner Mina Morita, Doors open @ 5:00pm with Keiki The Hawaii State Legislature St. Clement’s Church, Parish Hall activities will open its doors for April’s First Friday evening event with @ 5:00-7:00pm All ages are invited to enjoy this the 3rd Annual “Art at the Capitol,” What is the “Hawaii Clean Energy “Makiki film house” viewing of the an opportunity for the public to Initiative?” What is the PUC? 2008 popular kids animation based view over 430 works of art that on Kate DiCamillo’s Newberry are a part of the State’s Art in Come learn the answers to these Medal-winning book about an un- Public Places program. questions and more at our next usually sized hero with big brown Makiki Town Hall meeting featur- ears who desires the love of a hu- Visitors can also enjoy entertain- ing PUC Commissioner Mina man princess above all else. Bring ment featuring live music, take Morita. Special guests also include pillows or something soft to sit on, guided historical tours of the Acting Chair of the House Energy and be prepared to be transported Capitol, and mingle with artists & Environmental Protection by another great children’s fantasy and lawmakers. Committee Denny Coffman, story. All are welcome. and Governor Neil Abercrombie. This event is hosted by the Friends This Earth Day 2011 event is of Makiki Community Library and sponsored by Representative Rep. Della Au Belatti. Della Au Belatti. Call the Library for more informa- Call 586-9425 for more informa- tion at 522-7076. tion.Saturday, April 16 @ Noon-4:00pm Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Saturday, May 7, 2011Sunday, April 17 @ Noon-4:00pm Makiki Neighborhood Security Earth Day Adopt-a-Stream CleanupWednesday, April 20 @ 2:00-6:00pm Watch Meeting & HPD Training, at Makiki Stream, check in atSaturday, April 23 @ Noon-4:00pm Jodo Mission of Hawaii, Ikoi Hall, Washington Middle School parkingScholastic Book Fair at Makiki (1429 Makiki Street) lot on Punahou StreetCommunity Library, @ 6:00-7:30pm Check in @ 8:00amMakiki District Park Join HPD and Rep. Belatti for the Cleanup @ 8:30-11:00am(1527 Keeaumoku Street) next step in developing your own In partnership with the HonoluluLooking for a new book for that spe- NSW. HPD will provide a training C&C Department of Environmentalcial keiki in your life? Check out the session to help residents interested Services, residents work together toScholastic Book Fair at Makiki Com- in NSW learn basic community improve water quality in our com-munity Library. Your purchase will policing skills including the history munity through the Adopt-a-Streamhelp the Library get some new books of NSW, what is suspicious behav- program. All are invited to partici-too! ior, how to identify a suspect, and pate in the land-based cleanup of how to work with 911 when you Makiki Stream between South KingFree parking available, and the Li- make the call. and Phillip Streets. All volunteersbrary is located along the #4 and #17 This event is hosted by HPD must sign the City’s release formbus lines. District 1 Community Policing and participate in the safety orienta-For more information, contact the Team and Representative Della tion.Library at 522-7076. Au Belatti. For complete information and an Call 586-9425 or email repbe- email with all the details, contact latti@capitol.hawaii.gov for more Iwalani Sato at (try email first) iwalanis5@gmail.com or (then her information. cell) at 780-8872. 6