Honolulu, Hawaii – Governor Abercrombie signed two important homecare bills into law today. HB398 enhances the efficient provision of home and community based care service by establishing a working group to review issues relating to the transition of oversight from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health. HB529 supports stable environments for, and the accessible placement of residents in, adult foster homes by (1) requiring facilities to maintain liability insurance as well as automobile liability insurance for vehicles used to transport residents and; (2) authorizing the Director of Health to waive the two adult limit and certify an adult foster home for three individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Some of the critical issues the working group will need to address (HB398) include fair and equitable Medicaid payments for community-based care homes, the new renewal fee proposed by the Department of Health and the status of local case managers. HB529 is a major victory for our adult foster homes by requiring insurance, increasing the number of patients in a home and extending the sunset date for substituting a Nurse Aide.
“HB398 is the most important piece of legislation passed for the homecare industry,” said Vice Speaker John Mizuno who introduced the bill. “The recommendations of the working group will determine the future of caregivers, care home operators, foster home operators, adult day care operators, case managers and family members who help provide healthcare and a home to our elderly and disabled.”
WAILUKU – The County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and INNOVATE Hawaii today announced the winners for locally-made product companies in Maui County to exhibit at the Made in Hawaii Festival. The festival will be held August 16-18, 2013 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall & Arena on Oahu.
The festival is a three-day showcase of “Made in Hawaii” products including food, books, art, gifts, fashions, plants, crafts, produce and more. The festival provides high visibility to producers of local products. This year marks the 19th annual festival and is expected to be another record year for attendance.
“Maui is filled with innovative businesses that have the ability to take their products to a larger market,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We are pleased that this program will assist them in expanding their market and ultimately create more jobs here in our county.”
This year the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) and INNOVATE Hawaii are pleased to offer assistance to the following companies, which will receive free booth space and/or a stipend to offset travel expenses:
“We are pleased to partner with INNOVATE Hawaii to assist these local companies to participate in this well attended show, said Teena Rasmussen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “Approximately 38,000 people attend and are ready to buy. In addition, there are many retail buyers and distributors who come to find new products. We have selected a talented and diverse set of businesses to represent products made on Maui, and we are especially happy to see three companies from Molokai be selected.”
Mark Ausbeck, of INNOVATE Hawaii, noted that the Made In Hawaii Festival is a great way for companies to gain market exposure and test new products with much lower risk and expense than trying to reach individual customers directly. “Exhibitors often establish long-term customer relationships at these events and secure recurring orders,” Ausbeck said. “We are excited to partner with MauiCounty to help companies showcase their products at this great event.”
By Xochitl Hinojosa
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Brian Schatz joined a bipartisan group of Senators in passing S.744, which will provide a pathway to citizenship for 11.5 million people living in the shadows, reunite families by clearing the visa backlog, and reduce the deficit.
“For those of us who live in Hawaii, this has special meaning. What makes our state so special is the ability to welcome people from all over the world to make a thriving economy, culture, and community. This vote is consistent with our values – we understand that the American Dream is rooted in immigration,” said Senator Brian Schatz.
“Studies show that immigration reform will strengthen our economy by boosting tourism visas, as well as reducing our deficit by almost $1 trillion over the next two decades. While this bill is far from perfect, we must find ways to strengthen the bill and provide the appropriate fixes over time. The time is now for immigration reform and the House must move forward immediately with meaningful legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship.”
A propane gas leak in Waiuluku Wednesday night forced the evacuation of occupants from six units at the Kahekili Terrace in Happy Valley. Maui Fire Department crews from Wailuku and Kahului’s Hazardous Materials crew responded to the Wailuku scene at 8:32 p.m. Wednesday.
Occupants from six units of one of the buildings were evacuated for about an hour until the leak was stopped. A propane service line ruptured due to corrosion. The main valve from the property’s propane tank was shut off until repairs could be made by the Hawaii Gas Company this (Thursday) morning.
No injuries were reported. No information on how many occupants were evacuated.
KAHULUI – The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Harbors Division (DOT-Harbors), invites the general public and all interested parties to a public informational meeting to discuss proposed improvements to Hāna Pier.
DOT-Harbors is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to address potential environmental impacts of the proposed improvements and to solicit public input on topics such as resources that may be affected, alternatives that should be considered and potential impacts that should be studied. The meeting will be held Wednesday, July 10, 2013 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Helene Hall, Hāna Beach Park. The meeting will begin with an open house at 5 p.m., followed by a presentation at 5:30 p.m. and a question and answer session.
To request language translation, an auxiliary aid, or special service (e.g., sign language interpreter, accessible parking, or materials in alternative format), contact Ms. Sandra Rossetter; Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Harbors Division; 79 South Nimitz Highway; Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813; phone: 808-587-1886 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org a minimum of seven days prior to the meeting date. TTY users may use TRS to contact DOT.
In 2008, Act 200 was signed into law to modernize the commercial harbors system and transferred Hāna Harbor from the jurisdiction of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, to DOT-Harbors. This transfer included all facilities except the small boat harbor ramp facility. Hāna was included in this bill due to its risk of isolation should Hāna Highway (State Route 360) become severely damaged or impassable.
As part of the Governor’s New Day Initiatives, DOT-Harbors worked closely with the Hāna community to complete the Hāna Harbor Development Plan which recommended improvements to Hāna Pier. The plan was completed in 2011 and is available for review online at: http://hidot.hawaii.gov/harbors/files/2013/01/FINAL_Hana-Dev-Plan_061611-2.pdf.
HONOLULU – At the Hawaiian Humane Society today, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed six bills related to protecting animals. “These measures will rightfully hold those who abuse pets accountable for their actions,” said Governor Abercrombie. “They will also provide those who care for pets more opportunities.”
The bills will strengthen animal cruelty laws, help residents find rental housing that allows pets, and provide other protections and accommodations for animals.
SB635 (Relating to Animal Cruelty) provides protection for law enforcement animals as they perform their duty, and adds a definition of “law enforcement animal” to the Penal Code.
SB328 (Relating to Animals) allows for “pet deposits” to increase rental options for tenants with pets.
HB235 (Relating to Collection of Restitution for Crime Victims) assists humane societies in their care of animals previously subjected to animal cruelty.
SB6 (Relating to Animal Cruelty) prohibits the use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps and limits the use of snares and certain other traps in residential areas where domesticated pets may fall victim and suffer serious injury.
SB9 (Relating to Animals) keeps pets out of the hands of those found guilty of animal cruelty.
SB978 (Relating to the Penal Code) provides harsher penalties for those found guilty of animal cruelty by upgrading misdemeanor cruelty offenses involving 10 or more animals to a Class C felony.
“We commend Governor Abercrombie, Senate Judiciary Chair Clayton Hee, House Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads, and the state Legislature for strengthening our state animal welfare laws, including holding those who cruelly abuse animals more accountable,” said Inga Gibson, Hawai’i director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Strong animal welfare laws not only protect pets, but create safer, more compassionate communities for all of the people of Hawaii.”
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