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Legislative Update

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Executive Director Heather Lusk speaks with Sen. Stanley Chang during the 2020 opening day ceremonies.

The 2022 legislative session is well under way.

The new Equality Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Adrian Tam and Sen. Chris Lee, helps ensure that the needs of Hawai῾i’s trans and LGBQ+ community are addressed.

Among the bills forwarded by the Equality Caucus that have received HHHRC’s support:

· HB 1675, which would permit minor to consent to medical care and services related to the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of HIV. This would include access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP);

· SB 2560, which would require the state Department of Human Resources Development to establish hiring and promotion goals for position-qualified transgender and non-binary persons;

· SB 2670, which would establish the Hawaii State Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus (LGBTQ+) Commission; and

· SB 2872, which would require the sexual orientation and gender identity of persons processed for crimes be included in systems of identification.

HHHRC also supports HB 2405, which expands access to gender-affirming care for those seeking transition treatments from medical providers.

HHHRC is also supporting several bills as part of the Partners in Care O῾ahu coalition to expand housing opportunities for persons from under-resourced communities.

HHHRC supports increasing the state’s minimum wage to $18 by 2026, up from its current rate of $10.10. In late January, the Hawai῾i Senate passed SB 2018 by a vote of 24-1. Income is the foremost determinant of health. Census income data prior the COVID pandemic show that Native Hawaiian and Pasifika communities are especially impacted by low wages.

Other bills we are supporting that are making its way through the process include one that would offer free menstrual products to public school and charter school students, limit the use of solitary confinement in the state’s jails and prisons, and place limits on the use of cash bail and probation.

If you would like to join us in keeping up on matters of concern, HHHRC’s Policy Committee extends the invitation for you to join our policy email list. We’ll provide you with instructions on how to submit testimony through the Legislature’s website.

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