The 2018 Hawaii State Legislative Session wrapped up in May. Here’s a synopsis of the Session’s results:
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- The Hawaii House and Senate passed a concurrent resolution requesting that the Department of Education design and implement a curriculum in Hawaii public schools that teaches students to perform CPR and to identify symptoms of a stroke. The AHA will be working with House Education Committee Chair Judson Woodson, who offered to organize a meeting with State Department of Education and Board of Education representatives to work on implementing the goals set out in the resolution through Board of Education policy.
- A bill that would have funded expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) “Double-Bucks” programs (allowing SNAP funding recipients to effectively double the amount of fruit and vegetables that they can purchase with their SNAP dollars, up to a $20 per month limit) failed when House conferees were recalled from the conference committee. That bill had no public opposition and requested $300,000 in state funding to supplement federal and local grant funding to expand “Double-Bucks” programs to more Hawaii communities (“Double-Bucks” programs are currently offered in only four communities on the Big Island and Oahu).
- Another bill that we worked on would have required restaurants to replace sugary beverages offered in “kids meals” with healthier options. Unfortunately, the House Finance Committee failed to schedule it for hearing. Sugary drinks are a key contributor to the state’s current childhood obesity epidemic. One-quarter of children entering kindergarten in Hawaii are deemed overweight or obese.
- A bill that would have provided funding to support expansion of Farm to School and school gardens programs also failed to pass when House conferees were recalled from the conference committee formed to work out differences between House and Senate versions of the bill. That bill faced no public opposition.