The message from our recent #HIGotVaccinated message was simple, and it remains the case today: the more people who get their COVID-19 shots, the faster we can help businesses and families thrive. We must continue to remind the people in our lives that there is still work to be done to protect our community. And we must protect our most vulnerable and precious populations, including our keiki and others with underlying medical conditions unable to become vaccine recipients.
While vaccination remains the number one health priority, legislative deadlines in June prompted bill signing ceremonies and the announcement of my Intent to Veto list.
I was pleased to sign several bills that address long-standing inequities, protect our oceans, and help people impacted by the pandemic.
In June, I signed HB1376 requiring mediation before eviction. It effectively changes the minimum notice of termination from five to fifteen days. We continue to work with respective counties to provide rent relief programs and ensure that tenants know mediation services are available of those who lack the resources to arrive at an agreement before eviction.
Social Justice Laws Help Protect Vulnerable
Additionally, I signed HB940, which protects Hawaiʻi’s elderly and vulnerable adults from being victimized in situations involving securities. HB1192 replaces pay day lending laws with installment loans to help those living paycheck to paycheck, dramatically eliminating the cycle of debt. And SB793 repeals the state’s sub-minimum wage law for disabled individuals, ensuring that they are guaranteed the fair minimum wage.
New Ocean Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation Laws Signed
The Legislature passed a number of measures this year to address ocean conservation and climate change mitigation. Among them, HB1142 allows the allocation of three cents of the barrel tax to fund the installation of electric vehicle charging systems and establishes a subaccount in the public utilities commission special fund for the EV charging system rebate program. HB1019 creates the ocean stewardship special fund through a user fee of a dollar per passenger for commercial vessels, effectually providing more consistent support for management of ocean resources. HB1016 allows the Department of Natural Resources to issue a single commercial marine vessel license for all persons abroad a vessel.
On June 21 I presented my Intent to Veto list which included HB862, relating to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Association (HTA) budgetary adjustments and the repealing of Transient accommodations Tax (TAT) funding for counties. I am concerned about the removal of dedicated funding for the HTA, an organization committed to finding and introducing solutions to effectively manage tourism. HTA has created a process that gets the community and industry to work together, ultimately conceiving an opportunity for visitors and residents to be able to share our special islands while simultaneously solving points of friction when necessary.
I have until July 6 to make my final decisions – sign, veto, or let the bill become law without my signature. Please provide comments on legislation at : https://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/comments-on-legislation/.
As we remain cautiously optimistic about the state’s economic recovery, Mayor Roth, the Department of Health and my administration are continuing to closely monitor the ever-changing pandemic situation. I want to thank you all for your continued sacrifice, cooperation, and dedication towards keeping our community safe.
Governor David Y. Ige
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