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Legislative Session Recap from the Policy Director

We are pleased to share our first 2017 Legislative Recap – an analysis and report of health bills from the 2017 Legislative Session. This document will help advocates and other Hawai‘i residents understand the major health issues that lawmakers worked on this year and how these may affect them.

With nearly 3,000 bills introduced this year, staying informed can be an overwhelming task. In our 2017 Legislative Recap, we cover: 1) the potential Obamacare repeal and how the President’s budget will impact Hawai‘i; 2) the leadership changes in our state legislature; and 3) the 2017–2018 state budget as well as statistics on health bills and where they died.

Hawai‘i Public Health Institute (HIPHI) began the 29th session with a list of legislative priorities, including regulating electronic smoking devices (ESDs) to decrease youth use, protecting minors from secondhand smoke in vehicles, imposing a fee and requiring warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages, promoting worksite wellness, and reinstating physical education and health courses in middle schools. Unfortunately, most of these measures failed to pass this year. There are many reasons why bills die, but leadership changes and failure to agree on rail left many public health issues unresolved. The table below summarizes the status of our 2017 policy priorities.

HIPHI also supported multiple issues on population health, health equity, economic justice and more — all covered in the 2017 Legislative Recap. We hope that you find this piece helpful and that it inspires you to be an engaged, active participant in the legislative process.

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