Sunday, March 3, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, May 23, 2015
2015 Legislative Recap: Victories for Social and Economic Justice
By News Release @ 9:27 PM :: 4932 Views :: Taxes, Cost of Living

2015 Legislative Recap: Victories for Social and Economic Justice

From Hawaii Appleseed Center May 22, 2015

The 2015 Legislative session ended earlier this month with three of Hawaii Appleseed's top priorities being passed! The bills are now awaiting the Governor's signature, and we are excited to see the changes these important measures will bring for families working to achieve greater economic security.

Increase in food/excise tax credit (SB 555): For the past three years, Hawaii Appleseed has been leading the charge for changes to our state's tax system, where low-income households pay the second highest effective state tax rate in the country while the wealthiest earners pay half as much of their income toward state taxes. As our coalition of supporters has grown, with more people voicing their support for improved tax fairness, these efforts are now bearing fruit.

This year the legislature took a major step toward a more equitable tax system by passing Senate Bill 555 to the increase the food/excise tax credit. The credit is intended to offset the imbalance created by the General Excise Tax, the burden of which falls most heavily on low-income households who must spend a larger share of their income on basic necessities, most of which are taxed at the full GET rate. This food/excise tax credit increase will provide $6.5 million in tax relief to low and moderate-income families.

Access to Driver's Licenses (HB 1007): We helped pass a bill to create a limited purpose driver's license that does not require documentation of immigration status. This bill will increase the number of safe, licensed drivers on our roads and enable all of Hawaii's residents to get to work and care for their families.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness (HB 500): We successfully advocated for a $40 million appropriation for the Rental Housing Trust Fund and $1.5 million to continue the state's successful Housing First program for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

Thank you to our many partners, and a special thank you to PHOCUSED and Catholic Charities for their outstanding advocacy on these issues, as well as Partners in Care and the Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform. We're already looking forward to advancing social and economic justice in 2016!

City Council Update: Accessory Dwelling Units Moving Forward

Affordable housing is a top priority for Hawaii Appleseed, and around two years ago, we identified Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as the lowest hanging fruit for affordable housing development. Our research and advocacy on ADUs led to the introduction of a bill at the Honolulu City Council calling for elimination of barriers to ADU development on Oahu. The bill has received strong support from the community, City Council members, and the mayor's administration. With only two more hearings remaining, the bill could pass within the next few weeks, opening up ADU development and providing Oahu with a cost-efficient means to expand our affordable housing supply.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii