We will be sending out two more surveys this Session – 5 House Bills the Senate will be voting on in mid-April; 5 Bills up for final vote by both the House and Senate on May 2.
In each response, I’ll let you know the fate of the earlier bills as well, so you can keep tabs on which bills you vote on make it through the Session, and which don’t.
MID-SESSION ONLINE SURVEY RESULTS
|EDUCATION: SB686 Shall the Hawaii voters be given the opportunity to vote on whether to amend our State Constitution to allow the state to tax investment residential property? (According to the Constitution only counties are allowed to tax property to pay for county functions, whereas states have other avenues of taxation.)|
|Yes, with reservations||65||5||Yes, with reservations|
|I’m torn on this bill. The reason our state does not use property taxes to support schools is because we wanted fair funding across the state, and not have rich districts vs. poor districts. So we made a choice to leave property tax out of education, and gave that tax to the counties for their primary funding. I don’t like relying on property tax because it opens doors to unequal funding; also what do the counties do when we take from their primary tax base?
On the other hand, the bill asks whether we should allow people to vote on the issue. I tend to look at those questions differently, because the Legislature isn’t passing the law. We’re just allowing people to vote on the question. We don’t have initiative, and we haven’t had a ConCon since 1978. So I usually lean towards giving people the right to vote on an issue.
|KUPUNA CAREGIVERS: SB534 Should the state provide financial assistance to family caregivers who may be forced to leave their jobs in order to care for their kupuna?|
|Yes, with reservations||135||0|
|We have an aging population, and most families are left with figuring out how to provide their elders with home care. There are a lot of extra needs and costs families incur, like visits to doctors, additional medication, and so forth. This one will come down to how much money we have, in a year with a lot of demands. I think if the advocates were willing to narrow who is eligible for the funds, it would help their efforts.
|MEDICAID FOR HOMELESS: SB7 Should the state use Medicaid to provide supportive housing services for chronically homeless individuals? (Housing stability decreases the excessive emergency costs of the homeless.)|
|Yes, with reservations||131||0|
| I think this is one of the more creative ideas we’ve seen in a long time. Most of our medical costs are due to a small percentage of people. Some of this includes costs from chronically homeless persons who rely on emergency care to handle medical problems that are made a lot worse due to lack of housing. If we can show shelter reduces the overall cost to Medicaid – meaning the cost of shelter + medical expenses are less than the cost of medical expenses without shelter, then it’s a real win for everyone.
|TRAFFIC SAFETY: SB221 Should the State establish the photo red light imaging detector system program? (A cost-effective way to make streets safer.)|
|Yes, with reservations||56||3|
| We have one of the highest pedestrian death counts in the nation. I support doing whatever it takes to make our streets safer for all users.
|AGRICULTURE: SB708 Should the state prohibit housing being built on agricultural subdivisions or CPRs? (CPRs are condominium properties- a way to divide the land ownership.)|
|Yes, with reservations||71||0|
|We need to stop building housing developments on land zoned for agriculture. If people want to build housing developments, they can go through the process to urbanize the zoning, and address the traffic, infrastructure and environmental impacts of the development.|