February 3, 2024, 7:27 AM HST
The Kūpuna Caucus of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature were joined by the Department of Health and community advocates to announce the 2024 Kūpuna Caucus Bill Package. The package includes five bills dedicated to improving the health, well-being and quality of life for Hawaiʻi’s seniors.
The Kūpuna Caucus is unique from other legislative caucuses as its members include legislators as well as government and community members. The Bill Package was based on votes of over one hundred members on thirty bill proposals submitted by its members.
“The Kūpuna Caucus Package of bills endorsed by over one hundred members supports our elders in enjoying their lives in the community and sustaining their independence as long as possible,” said Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, co-convener of the Kūpuna Caucus.
“The Bill Package presented here today represents the collaboration and work of the Kūpuna Caucus – including input and participation from the legislature, state and county agencies, and a wide range of community partners,” said Rep. Cory Chun, co-convener of the Kūpuna Caucus. “I look forward to working with caucus members and supporters this legislative session on these measures to increase the quality of life for all our kūpuna and their families.”
The Kūpuna Caucus 2024 Bill Package includes the following bills:
- SB2470 and HB1771: Relating to the Hawaiʻi Health Aging Partnership: Appropriates funds to the Executive Office on Aging of the Department of Health for the Hawaiʻi Healthy Aging Partnership. Declares that the general fund expenditure ceiling is exceeded.
- SB2471 and HB1772: Relating to fall prevention: Appropriates funds to support the Department of Health’s Senior Fall Prevention Campaign. Declares the general fund expenditure ceiling is exceeded.
- SB2472 and HB1770: Relating to social services: Increases the monthly needs allowance from $50 to $75. Clarifies that the needs allowance is not intended to replace or affect funds received from the federal supplemental security income program. Requires certain long-term care facility operators to pay for generic toiletries, linens, and meals and snacks. Requires the department of human services to perform an annual review of the needs allowance. Declares that the general fund expenditure ceiling is exceeded. Appropriates funds.
- SB2473 and HB1769: Relating to taxation: Establishes a refundable tax credit for nonpaid family caregivers. Requires the Department of Taxation to report to the Legislature before the convening of each Regular Session.
- SB2474 and HB1768: Relating to family leave: Requires the department of labor and industrial relations to establish and administer a family leave insurance program. Provides family leave insurance benefits and extends the period of family leave to 16 weeks for businesses that employ one or more employees who meet the hourly qualifications. Eliminates the previous threshold of 100 employees for employers to be subject to the family leave law. Appropriates funds.