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Sunday, March 31, 2024
Crucial housing, healthcare bills still very much alive at Legislature
By Grassroot Institute @ 5:08 PM :: 1484 Views :: Development, Cost of Living

Crucial housing, healthcare bills still very much alive at Legislature

The bills would enable starter homes, widen mixed-use housing, attract nurses to Hawaii and exempt doctors from the state GET

from Grassroot Institute, March 30, 2024

Many good bills were introduced into the Hawaii Legislature this year to tackle important issues such as Hawaii’s housing and healthcare crises.

The housing bills that are still alive include SB3202, which would allow smaller lots for smaller homes that would be more affordable for local residents; and SB2948, which would pave the way for more mixed-use housing and make it easier to convert vacant office buildings into housing.

SB3202 has received pushback from “Not in my backyard” groups and the Honolulu City Council, but the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has been working with many local organizations to support the measure — including testifying multiple times and creating a website and a short, two-minute explainer video.

The "smaller homes" bill will be considered Monday at a joint hearing of the House Housing Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Water and Land.

Good healthcare bills still in the mix include HB2415, which would enter Hawaii into the Nurse Licensure Compact; and HB1675, which would exempt primary care physicians from the state general excise tax.

Forty-one states already belong to the NLC, which is similar to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for doctors that Hawaii joined last year.

HB2415 is part of Gov. Josh Green’s legislative package, and is being heard on Tuesday in a joint hearing between the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB1675 is still waiting to get a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and could really use your support.

Take action now on housing and healthcare

Please help these important housing and healthcare bills make it to the governor's desk for final approval.

You can visit the Grassroot Institute's "Take action" page, which has sample wording to customize. Then just enter your contact info, hit “send,” and an email will go to your state representative and senator.


Also on the legislative front …

Grassroot submitted testimony this past week regarding the following measures:

>> HB1838 HD2 SD1: “Broader county zoning powers could hinder Hawaii housing goals

>> HB2404 HD1: “Cannot reasonably assess tax bill after specific amounts removed

>> SB2908 SB1 HD1: “Emergency powers need update, but SB2908 doesn’t go far enough

>> HB1633 HD1, SD1: “Support owner-builder exemption in HB1633 to add more housing

Also during this past week …


For the second time, the Grassroot Institute urged the Honolulu City Council on Monday to reject a resolution opposing state proposals that would allow smaller homes on smaller lots. Instead, the Council passed the resolution, deferring to the awakened forces of Oahu's "Not in my Backyard" residents.


On the Garden Island, Grassroot endorsed a Kaua‘i County Council proposal that would allow property owners to build "guest" houses in most of the county’s residential districts and commercial, agriculture, open and university districts — including on properties that already have an "additional dwelling unit."

>> Bill 2919: “‘Guest house’ proposal, Bill 2919, could provide multiple benefits


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