With another legislative session behind us, it’s time to take a deeper look into how public health legislation fared in the 2018 session. This year, HIPHI priorities were to prevent tobacco use among youth and promote healthy eating habits. Mahalo to all of our advocates who showed their support, whether it was through written testimony, calls to legislators, or attending hearings.
Despite our collective efforts, none of our priority bills (see chart) passed. While we are disappointed, we will regroup and strategize for next year. Some notable bills HIPHI supported did prevail:
- SB 134, which prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on all University of Hawai‘i campuses.
- HB 1895, which requires ESD retailers to register with the Attorney General and establishes delivery and access restrictions. However, the measure also preempts counties from regulating the sale of ESDs, cigarettes, and tobacco products. The bill also appropriates funds for three positions within the Department of Health for the inspection of dialysis centers.
- SB 192, which places approximately $54 million from a one-time tobacco industry arbitration settlement into the emergency and budget reserve fund. It also appropriated funds for statewide flood relief, providing $100 million to Kauai and $25 million to other areas of the state after heavy flooding in April.
- SB 2783, which expands the radius of the smoke-free public housing law to 25 feet to comply with a federal mandate.
- HB 2215, which sets the minimum safe passing distance a motorist should provide when overtaking a bicyclist.
- SB 2340, which preserves certain benefits from the Affordable Care Act into Hawai‘i law, such as health coverage for children up to age 26, coverage of pre-existing conditions, and prohibiting gender discrimination in determining premiums.
- SB 2990, which authorizes a study to determine the best model for a paid family leave program.
- HB 1716, which establishes a youth commission to advise the Governor and Legislature on the effects of legislative policies, needs, assessments, priorities, programs, and budgets relating to youth.
- SB 2799, which allows dental hygienists to perform certain procedures under the general supervision of a dentist in public health settings, such as schools or public housing.
- HCR 236, a resolution that requests the DOE to include cardiopulmonary resuscitation education in schools.
Like what you’ve just read? Check out our 2018 Legislative Recap, an analysis of the state budget, 2018 elections, and how health-related bills fared at the Capitol.
Funding for the legislative recap and event is sponsored, in part, by Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i.