2022 Priorities

We work hard to support our families. We deserve a Hawaiʻi that works for us.

Raising the minimum wage

HB1503 calls on the State of Hawaiʻi to increase the minimum wage up to $18 an hour by the year 2026 through four annual steps ($1.90 the first year and $2.00 thereafter).

In addition, for every year after 2026, the bill would increase the state minimum wage according to a cost of living calculation made annually, preventing workers from falling behind again.

Finally, the bill would eliminate the exploitative tip credit, which allows some businesses to pay their workers less than the minimum wage while forcing them to depend on the unreliable and extractive practice of tipping, something born out of the racist history of Reconstruction in the American South after the Civil War, and that has been proven to put workers at increased risk of experiencing sexual harassment and other forms of violence

Make the tax system work for us

HB 1507 would expand and make permanent the state Earned Income Tax Credit so every working family that qualifies is able to take full advantage and maximize their tax refund.

HB 1505 would bring balance to the state tax code by strategically increasing taxes on the super rich and corporations, in particular income from capital gains.

Kūpuna care

HB 2145 and SB 3113 will improve government efficiency by incorporating the Kūpuna Caregivers program into the Kūpuna Care program.

The combined program model will eliminate confusion and silos created by having two programs. Area Agencies on Aging will be able to provide services more efficiently.

The bills also add “caregiver support services” to the list of services in Kūpuna Care, and add a definition for “employed caregiver” (at least 20 hrs/week or is self-employed).

The Executive Office on Aging is requesting $1.5M in its budget for the Kūpuna Care program for Kūpuna Caregiver services.

Affordable Housing

SB3359 and HB2511 will infuse the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands with $600m. The designated funds will allow the DHHL to prepare the department's lands for homesteading with adequate roads, water, sewer drainage, and electrical. With one of the highest costs of living in the nation, The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries also face the challenging issue of obtaining capital for mortgages to build homes and reside on trust lands. Capital for mortgage financing reserves will alleviate the burden placed on these families.

The combination of land preparation and financing reserves will simultaneously eliminate the DHHL’s waiting list and increase affordable housing availability. SB3359 and HHB2511 will increase the DHHL’s ability to carry out Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s vision of rehabilitating native Hawaiians by returning them to the land. The Hawaiian Homesteading Program run by DHHL includes managing over 200,000 acres of land statewide to develop and deliver homesteading. 

SB2150 and HB2233 Authorize The Department of Human Services to provide temporary housing assistance subsidies of up to $500 per month for needy families. This $500 will help bridge the gap between families’ income and expenses. This funding will help alleviate families' financial needs and lead to more affordable housing. 

HB1752 and SB206 will assist in mitigating Source of Income Discrimination by increasing incentives for landlords to follow the law (HB1752) and protect tenants against this form of discrimination (SB206).

HB2512 provides Ohana Zone funding to alleviate houselessness in the state by establishing a five-year Homeless Triage Center Pilot Program administered by the Department of Human Services to operate a Homeless Triage Center that serves as a crisis assessment and management center.  SB3168 provides an extension of the program and additional funding. 

HB2020 appropriates general funds for fiscal year 2022-2023 for deposit into the Affordable Homeownership Revolving Fund. The Affordable Homeownership Revolving Fund facilitates homeownership and expands self-help housing projects throughout the state.