Senate passes housing and education bills from joint legislative package on 3rd reading
News Release from Senate Democratic Caucus, March 4, 2020
The Hawai'i State Senate passed two bills on third reading that are part of the 2020 joint legislative package to provide real economic benefits for Hawai‘i’s working-class families and individuals.
The bills aim to develop leasehold housing and provide tax exemptions for developers to build market price homes, to fund infrastructure development near rail stations in West O'ahu and on the neighbor islands, and to establish the School Facilities Agency to be responsible for all public school development, planning, and construction.
--Senate Bill 3104, Senate Draft 2, relating to Land Development.
It establishes a residential leasehold program within the Hawai'i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC). It exempts from the definition of public lands, lands set aside by the Governor or leased by any state department or agency to the HHFDC, for the primary purposes of developing affordable housing. It requires the HHFDC to submit a report to the Legislature that identifies all state lands that may be developed for multi-unit dwellings. It requires the HHFDC to submit a report to the Legislature that addresses various housing concerns, including the steps necessary to end the State’s housing shortage. It authorizes the issuance of $275 million in general obligation bonds, with proceeds used for the establishment of infrastructure to support the development of housing. It appropriates $500,000 for 3 full-time equivalent project manager positions. It authorizes a person to petition the appropriate county land use decision-making authority, rather than the Land Use Commission, for a change in the boundary of a district involving land areas between 15 acres and 25 acres where the majority of the development will be for affordable housing. It authorizes the State Historic Preservation Division to delegate the responsibility of historic preservation project reviews to the impacted county. It establishes the Office of the Housing Advocate, and removes the existing statutory cap on the amount of conveyance tax revenues that are deposited into the rental housing revolving fund each fiscal year.
--Senate Bill 3103, Senate Draft 2, relating to a School Facilities Agency.
It establishes the agency to be responsible for all public school development, planning, and construction, related to capital improvement projects assigned by the Legislature, Governor, or Board of Education, places management of school impact fees with the agency, and appropriates funds.