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Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 3:30 AM :: 824 Views :: Family, First Amendment, Life

WEEKLY RECAP

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines

FEB 18 - FIRST LATERAL (BILLS) - All bills referred to more than one committee must move to their final committee in the originating chamber by this day. (Note: Committees must file their committee report with the bill by the previous day, February 17.) 

FEB 24 - MAR 2 - MANDATORY 5-DAY RECESS - Hawaii's Constitution mandates a 5-day recess between the 20th and 40th days of the regular session. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate convene or assemble formally in chamber on recess days. Committee hearings do take place. 

MAR 4 - FIRST DECKING (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of the originating chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48-hour opportunity for final review by the chamber's members before they are asked to vote on the third reading. Note: A bill must pass three readings (votes) in each chamber before being enrolled to the governor. (Note: Senate Bills with only a single referral need to be filed by the committee by March 3.)

Stillbirth Certificate Bill

HB2462 Relating to Vital Statistics was heard in the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Homelessness on Tuesday, February 8.  This bill requires the Department of Health to issue a certificate of stillbirth, upon request of the parent or parents named on a fetal death certificate issued in the case of a stillbirth.  It will appropriate funds to the DOH in order to ensure that the system can adequately handle the requests.

HAWAII FAMILY FORUM TESTIFIED IN SUPPORT OF THIS BILL. 

STATUS:  The House Committee on Health, Human Services and Homelessness DEFERRED the bill on February 8, 2022.  The bill is dead.

Testimony from the Women's Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii stated, "While we are sympathetic to the intent, we are also concerned that this could result in the unintended consequence of granting fetal personhood unless appropriate language is included to assure this does not happen."  Planned Parenthood, who "supported the intent" stated in their testimony, "While we respect and support the intent of HB 2462, we request that the bill be amended to ensure this bill promotes the reproductive freedom of all people in Hawaiʻi and does not have unintended consequences that undermines the right to abortion care."

We are disheartened that political bias stopped a bill that could have helped women experiencing loss. 

Senate Committee on Health Hears Assisted Suicide Expansion Bill

SB2680 Relating to Health expands assisted suicide by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to assist with suicide of a terminal patient and allows physicians to waive the waiting period (the strongest in the nation according to the Our Care Our Choice bill as passed in 2018).  One prominent physician who testified in support is very concerned that waiving the waiting period is "clinically illogical" and "an invitation to fraud and abuse."   We concur.  

HAWAII FAMILY FORUM SUBMITTED TESTIMONY IN OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL.

STATUS: On February 7, 2022, the Senate committee on HTH recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. (As of this writing, the new version with the changes have not been made public.) The votes in HTH were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keohokalole, Baker, Moriwaki, San Buenaventura; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 1 No(es): Senator(s) Fevella.  We appreciate the lone NO vote of Sen. Fevella.

The bill will now move to a joint hearing of the Senate Consumer Protection and Senate Judiciary Committees.

The House version is still alive and moving as well.

Gambling Feasibility Study

SB2608 Relating to Gambling is the Senate version of the House bill listed below. This bill requires the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to study the feasibility of and revenue generation from limited casino gaming and address the potential public health and safety concerns arising from limited casino gaming. Requires a report to the legislature prior to the regular session of 2023. Appropriates funds.

HAWAII FAMILY FORUM IS ON RECORD AS BEING OPPOSED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GAMBING IN HAWAII AND REMAINS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SOCIETAL IMPACT OF LEGALIZED GAMBLING.  

STATUS:  The committee(s) on HWN recommend(s) that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in HWN were as follows: 2 Aye(s): Senator(s) Shimabukuro, Keohokalole; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 3 No(es): Senator(s) Acasio, Ihara, Fevella; and 0 Excused: none.  THE BILL DID NOT PASS.  We appreciate the no votes of Sen. Acasio, Sen. Ihara and Sen. Fevella.  The bill is dead.

HB1962 Relating to Gambling

STATUS:  On February 4, 2022, the committee on Economic Development recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Quinlan, Holt, Belatti, D. Kobayashi, Onishi, Sayama, Takayama; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Okimoto.

The bill will now move to a joint committee hearing of the Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs and Consumer Protection.

We are hoping that the measure will die in the Senate when it crosses over based on the vote on the Senate version of the bill.

Help for Postpartum Depression

Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Extensions: Approved and Pending State Action as of February 11, 2022

Medicaid covers almost half of births in the U.S., and federal law requires that pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage last through 60 days postpartum. After that period, some may qualify for Medicaid through another pathway, but others may not qualify, particularly in non-expansion states. To help improve maternal health and coverage stability and to help address racial disparities in maternal health, a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 gives states a new option to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months via a state plan amendment (SPA). This new option takes effect on April 1, 2022 and is available to states for five years.  The two bills below are reflective of Hawaii's support for new mothers.

SB 2634 Relating to Health appropriates money to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months following the end of pregnancy.

HAWAII FAMILY FORUM TESTIFIED IN SUPPORT OF THIS BILL.

STATUS:  On Thursday, February 10, 2022, a joint Senate Committee of Human Services and the Committee on Health heard the bill. The committee(s) on HMS recommended that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in HMS were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) San Buenaventura, Ihara, Acasio, Misalucha; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 1 Excused: Senator(s) Fevella.

The bill will now move to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

HB1773 Relating to Health (is the House version of the Senate Bill above. )

HAWAII FAMILY FORUM TESTIFIED IN SUPPORT OF THIS BILL.

STATUS:  On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Homelessness heard the bill.  The committees on HHH recommended that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Yamane, Tam, Gates, Har, Kapela, Nishimoto; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; and 1 Excused: Representative(s) Ward.

The bill will now move to the House Committee on Finance.

Triple "F" Show: Faith and Family First

Supreme Court Vacancy

WATCH NOW:  On this episode of Faith and Family First, Jim and Eva discuss the impending retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Who will replace him, and will that change the direction of the Court?. Make sure you like, share and subscribe to our YouTUBE channel.  

 

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