2003 bills are still alive for the 2004 legislative session if it was not held in committee. Some of the policy behind my bills were achieved quietly. For example, two out of three of my capital improvement projects were included in the 2003 state budget. My crystal methamphetamine prevention bill was included in a catch-all bill being addressed this year. Finally, a couple of my bills are being achieved administratively. The following are some of my 2003 bills:
House Bill 678 would establish the Hawaii Employer Mutual Health Insurance Company to provide health insurance to Hawaii employers. My intent was to have a company that would help smaller businesses (i.e. “mom and pop” stores) and entrepreneurs in their health coverage for their employees.
House Bill 679 would require the department of transportation to establish standards for the placement of school zone traffic signals, signage, and crosswalks, on public roads, to help ensure the safety of students, parents, and school personnel.
House Bill 680, House Draft 1 would require mandatory ethics training for legislators, elected members of the board of education, governor, lieutenant governor, executive department heads and deputies, and trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs.
House Bill 682, House Draft 1 would appropriate funds for the Department of Health to work in cooperation with the Department of Education to prevent crystal methamphetamine use. There needs to be greater education on the danger of drugs to help prevent future drug users.
House Bill 683 would give students enrolled in University of Hawaii (UH) film courses reasonable access to the Diamond Head film studio. I was hoping to get UH film students some hands-on job experience in the film industry. Fortunately, UH and Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism will be working towards this goal administratively.
House Bill 684 would provide a tax credit for the purchase of motion picture and film, and television production and post-production equipment.
House Bill 686 would provide tax credits to small high technology companies that increases the amount of their employees. I created this bill to help push the growth of our technology industry and create jobs. I want Hawaii’s young adults to have a technology career here if they choose rather than looking towards the mainland as their only option.
House Bill 687 would require the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) to include performance goals, monitoring requirements, and measures of effectiveness in each contract in which public funds are expended for tourism marketing or promotion. It would require HTA to provide an annual report. Ironically, not too long after I introduced this bill, a state audit revealed mismanagement by Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) on contracts they had with HTA. As a result, HTA took away all international marketing contracts from HVCB, leaving them with only a marketing contract for North America.
House Bill 690 would require the Hawaii Tourism Authority to allocate a portion of its biennial budget to contract with the Hawaii Technology Trade Association to market and promote high technology industries in Hawaii. My intent was to diversify Hawaii’s marketing strategy. This bill would promote Hawaii as “business friendly” and bring more investment monies into our State.
House Bill 689 would provide matching funds up to $75,000 for the plantation village programs through the Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park. I supported the park because the rich history of Hawaii’s plantation life must be retained for future generations to see.
House Bill 691: In a contract for a public works project, a joint venture of two or more contractors shall qualify for the preference in this section if all joint venture contractors meet the requirements: a state agency shall award the contract to an offeror who has filed all state tax returns due to the State and paid all amounts owing on such returns for two successive years prior to submitting the offer; provided that the amount of that offer is not more than seven per cent higher than the amount offered by any competing contractor who has not filed or paid all applicable state taxes, and the amount of the offer by the state tax paying offeror is $5,000,000 or less. The policy behind this measure is to allow smaller companies to join together in the bidding process so they will be able to compete against larger companies.