2013 legislative priorities

LEJ is monitoring a series of legislative bills that have been introduced in the 2013 session. To submit your own testimony on any bill, please click here. If you would like to be notified via email of upcoming hearings, please email mindi@hiappleseed.org.

The following bills are part of our priorities:

support

earned income tax credit (EITC)

SB301, Establishes a refundable state earned income tax credit. Requires the department of human services to provide financial education to applicants for and recipients of temporary assistance for needy families. Appropriates funds for financial education and tax workshops. Our testimony.

HB385, Establishes a refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit. Requires the Department of Human Services to provide financial education to applicants for and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Our testimony

Read our talking points on establishing a state EITC here.

poverty exemption for income tax

SB98, Reduces the tax liability for low-income people by creating a tax credit that will reduce a person's income tax to zero if their federal adjusted gross income falls below federal poverty guidelines. Reduces a person's income tax liability by fifty percent if the person's federal adjusted gross income falls between 100 and 125 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Our testimony

HB384, Reduces the tax liability for low-income persons by creating a tax credit that will reduce a person's income tax to zero if their federal adjusted gross income falls below federal poverty guidelines. Reduces a person's income tax liability by fifty percent if the person's federal adjusted gross income falls between one hundred and one hundred twenty-five per cent of federal poverty guidelines.

Read our talking points on establishing a poverty tax credit here.

conveyance tax

HB680, Imposes conveyance tax on the transfer or conveyance of a controlling interest of an entity with an interest in realty in Hawaii. Exempts certain transfers. Imposes conveyance tax on certain transfers of real property at the lowest rate. Our testimony

SB22, Clarifies that the sale, transfer, or exchange of a legal entity's stock, whose assets include realty located in Hawaii, shall be deemed to be a transfer or conveyance of realty that is subject to the conveyance tax when the sale, transfer, or exchange of stock is executed with an unrelated entity or individual. Our testimony

SB95, Supports the financing of affordable rental housing projects by increasing the rental housing trust fund's share of conveyance tax revenues to fifty percent.

SB97, Deems transfers of controlling interest in entities holding interests in real property within the State subject to the conveyance tax. Our testimony

HB386, Deems transfers of controlling interest in entities holding interests in real property within the State subject to the conveyance tax. Measure has been deferred.

housing

SB91, Appropriates funds for the state rent supplement program, for homeless working individuals or families who are ready to rent permanent housing in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Our testimony

SB92, Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals in the State. Our testimony

SB302, Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for deposit into the rental housing trust fund to finance affordable rental housing development. Our testimony

SB303, Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds into the rental assistance revolving fund for purposes of expanding the rental assistance program. Our testimony

SB515, appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services, rental housing trust fund, the department of health, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Shelter Plus Care Program for housing and supportive services for homeless individuals and families. Establishes the Return-to-Home program and special fund. Establishes nighttime parking lots for homeless persons. Establishes camping locations for homeless persons. Our testimony

HB518, Appropriates funds for the state rent supplement program, for homeless working individuals or families who are ready to rent permanent housing in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Our testimony.

HB519, Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals in the State. Our testimony

HB530, Designates November as homelessness awareness month. Our testimony

nutrition

SB1085, Imposes a fee on sugar-sweetened beverages. Establishes the obesity and chronic disease prevention special fund and the Hawaii interagency obesity prevention council to support obesity prevention programs. Makes an appropriation from the obesity and chronic disease prevention special fund to the department of health. Our testimony

SB991, Exempts the purchase of fresh meats and produce and animals and plants by any governmental body from the Hawaii Public Procurement Code to encourage locally produced foods. Our testimony

other

SB331, Increases the hourly minimum wage to $7.75 on January 1, 2014, $8.25 on January 1, 2015, $8.75 on January 1, 2016, and $9.00 on January 1, 2017. Our testimony

HB868, eliminates the asset limit for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Our testimony
Executive Director Victor Geminiani and Staff Attorney Jenny Lee are on the far right in this picture with the Governor as he signs HB868 into law.


oppose

gambling

HB145, Grants 20-year license for one stand-alone casino in Waikiki not in a hotel. Establishes Hawaii Gaming Control Commission. Imposes 15 percent wagering tax on gross receipts. Creates State Gaming Fund and Compulsive Gambler Program. Appropriates funds.

HCR233 and HR177, Requesting the convening of a gambling task force to perform a social and financial analysis of legalized gambling in Hawaii. Click here to read our testimony.

in the news

HANO, Public Policy, Hawaii Appleseed Celebrates Successes in 2013 Legislature, May 10, 2013

The Maui News, Dissapointment as bills fail in final hours, April 30, 2013

The Garden Island, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, April 29, 2013

  • The Oklahoman, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, April 29, 2013
  • San Francisco Chronicle, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, April 29, 2013

    Connecticut Post, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, April 29, 2013

    Houston Chronicle, Hawaii lawmakers leave many bills in the dust, April 29, 2013

    Civil Beat, Who Can Survive on the Minimum Wage?, April 22, 2013

    KHON2 News, Proposed changes to bill aimed at tightening gambling law, April 1, 2013

    PBS Hawaii, Island Insights with Dan Boylan, Legislation to assist low-income wage earners, March 28, 2013

    PBS Hawaii, Island Insights, Legislative Update March 14, 2013

    Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Staring Down Poverty, February 26, 2013. Click here for a PDF version of the printed article.

    HANO Public Policy News, Hawaii Appleseed Opposes Legalized Gambling in Hawaii, February 21, 2013