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Sunday, April 3, 2022
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 4:53 PM :: 809 Views :: Family, First Amendment, Life

WEEKLY RECAP

Certificates of Stillbirth Resolutions Killed by House Health Committee

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, the House Committee on Health and Human Services & Homelessness heard two resolutions [HCR 59 and HR 53] that would allow the Department of Health to provide certificates of stillbirth for those mothers and fathers who request them.

Hawaii Family Forum was the only one who submitted testimony in support of these resolutions.

STATUS:  The HHH Committee killed the resolutions without fanfare.  If they were not interested in the resolutions because of the House Bills (which they also killed), the reason would be that opponents think this is a step in the direction of personhood and abortion rights advocates want to keep Hawaii tilted to the left on life issues.

THESE POSITIVE RESOLUTIONS ARE DEAD FOR THE SESSION.

Abortion Resolution Receives Senate Support

SCR206 and SR199 urges Hawaii's Congressional delegation to strongly support passage of the Women's Health Protection Act of 2021 to protect the right to access and provide abortion services.

Hawaii Family Forum submitted testimony in opposition to these resolutions.

We are all fully aware that the Supreme Court is set to make its decision in the Dobbs late-term abortion case, regarding the 15-week abortion restriction instituted in Mississippi.  Asking our congressional members to "strongly support" the WHPA is just another way to subvert the legislative pro-life gains made in other states over the last several decades. 

On Monday, March 28, 2022, the Senate Committee on Health recommended that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in HTH were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keohokalole, Baker, Moriwaki, San Buenaventura; 1 No(es): Senator(s) Fevella. As always, we appreciate the one lone "no" vote from Sen. Fevella.

On Friday, April 1, 2022, the Report and Resolution was Adopted by the Senate.  The vote was as follows:

Aye(s) 22: none. 

Noes, 3 (Senator(s) Fevella, Gabbard, Riviere). 

STATUS:  The resolution has crossed over to the House and will receive committee/hearing assignments.  We will send out notice when the resolutions receive a hearing.

Extended Medicaid for Postpartum Coverage

SB2634 HD1 was heard by the House Finance Committee on April 1, 2022.  THis bill would appropriate state funds to draw down the federal matching funds to extend medicaid postpartum coverage to twelve months following the end of pregnancy.  

Hawaii Family Forum submitted testimony in support of this bill.

The findings of the bill state that "women who are ineligible for postpartum health coverage struggle to get necessary care during the twelve months following childbirth, which is a critical time, as women are more likely to die of pregnancy-related conditions postpartum than during pregnancy or childbirth.  Drug overdoses, suicides, and pregnancy-related chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure contribute to a rise in deaths among women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first twelve months after childbirth."

Status:  On Friday, April 1, 2022, the House Finance Committee was still in session at 5:20 p.m. so I don't have the update yet.  I expect this bill to pass, but I will ensure it is updated in our next report.

TAKE ACTION: Assisted Suicide Expansion Makes it through Final Hearing

HB1823, with strong support of Senate members, easily navigated the final hearing.  This bill is going to expand Hawaii's physician-assisted suicide law.  The version that was passed in 2018 had "the strongest safeguards in the nation" according the bill introduction.  In 2019, the legislature was already trying to remove all the safeguards - AS WE HAD PREDICTED.

The votes in CPN were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Chang, DeCoite, Nishihara, San Buenaventura; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 1 No(es): Senator(s) Riviere; and 1 Excused: Senator(s) Fevella.

The votes in JDC were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Rhoads, Keohokalole, Acasio, Lee; Aye(s) with reservations: Senator(s) Kim ; 1 No(es): Senator(s) Gabbard; and 1 Excused: Senator(s) Fevella.

You can contact your own Senator to ask them to vote NO on HB1823 SD2 when it gets to the floor for a full chamber vote.  That will most likely be sometime next week.  We will send out a reminder alert early next week.

Upcoming Legislative Deadlines

APR. 7 - FIRST CROSSOVER FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS - Deadline for concurrent resolutions to pass the required single floor vote in the originating chamber. Upon adoption by the originating chamber, concurrent resolutions move or "crossover" to the other chamber. (Measures must be filed by Wednesday, April 6.) 

APR 8 - SECOND DECKING (BILLS) - Deadline for bills that have been amended by the non-originating chamber to emerge from all their committees (with committee reports filed) and be submitted to the clerk of that chamber. This "decking" ensures a mandatory 48-hour opportunity for final review by the non-originating chamber's members before third reading. (Note: House Bills with only a single referral need to be filed by the committee by April 7.) 

APR 14 - SECOND CROSSOVER (BILLS) - Deadline for bills to pass third reading in their non-originating chamber and to "cross back" to the originating chamber. 

APR 14 - LAST DAY FOR THE ORIGINATING BODY TO DISAGREE WITH BILL AMENDMENTS - The deadline for the originating chamber to disagree with changes made to its bills by the other chamber. When the Senate and House disagree on a bill, members from each chamber can meet in conference committees to reconcile their differences.

From the Public Access Room

New procedures have been put in place to access the Capitol building:

Security guards are located at both entry points (see below) to perform an access screening which includes providing photo identification.

Visitors will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result.

Mask wearing is requested in House chambers and rooms; mask wearing is required in Senate chambers and rooms, and in the Public Access Room (PAR).

Remaining unchanged:

Visitors are able to enter the Capitol building at two locations: the street-level "Core 1" elevator (located on the Ewa-side of the rotunda, closest to S. Beretania Street) and the basement entrance (accessible via the stairwell adjacent to Washington Place). Visitors may access these entries from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Visitors will be issued a daily sticker which must be worn/remain visible while in the Capitol building.

It appears these procedures will continue through session. We'll let you know if anything changes!

Triple "F" Show: Faith and Family First

WATCH THE CURRENT EPISODE: Are parents the enemy?

In this episode, Eva and Jim discuss a range of concerning signals being sent by government to parents who want to be involved in their child's life and education. What does this mean for Hawaii? 

CLICK TO WATCH NOW

Parental Rights Defended in Wisconsin Brief

Hawaii Family Forum and several other organizations filed a friend of the court brief last week in the Wisconsin Supreme Court in support of parental rights to know when public schools are treating their children as transgender. The Madison school district published a policy---similar to others springing up around the country---that hides this from parents if the child, along with school personnel, believe it would not be "safe" to tell parents because they might not be "supportive" of the transition.

This is a wholesale repudiation of parental rights and responsibilities protected by the federal and state constitutions, the common law, and state laws. [Organization name] in its brief made two major points supplementing the briefs of the main parties. First, all concede that parents have the right to take their kids out of public schools if they desire and to home school them or send them to a private school. To exercise that right, parents have to know how the schools are treating their children on matters as serious as this.

Second, all states, including Wisconsin, have procedures in place that provide parents due process protections, including notice and hearing, as required constitutionally, if they are to be deprived of their parental rights due to "abuse" or "neglect." Policies such as that of the Madison schools basically let school officials become judge and jury and silently strip parents of their responsibilities. That not only violates the law, but also common sense. As stated in the brief,

"School personnel (who have undoubtedly in almost all cases spent much less time with the child than the parents have) have no right to withhold from parents-in their sole discretion and on remarkably insufficient information and based on their supposition about what the parental response might be-that their child is exhibiting as transgender in school. It is parents that the law presumes know their own children best and are best positioned and motivated to protect and counsel them. It is parents who are given the primary right to care for their child, not school counselors, teachers, or principals."

A decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected later this year.

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