2020 Legislative Priorities – A Green New Deal – Hawai’i (GNDHI) – Draft Summary 1.14.2020


The Legislature finds that the human-induced global climate crisis requires thoughtful but bold response on many fronts to make Hawaii communities resilient to the impacts of storms, floods, fire, and sea-level rise that threaten the very survivability of these fragile islands.  Lest Hawaii lose its leadership position in meeting the future, and in the arenas of labor, justice and equity, the Legislature embraces Aloha ‘Āina to decarbonize Hawaii’s systems of food, energy, and transportation, and to sequester carbon through systems of agriculture, waste management and ecosystem restoration.  The good jobs created thereby also expand access to health, housing and education, ensuring justice and equity for Hawaii’s citizens. The following measure represents a forward step in mitigating and adapting Hawaii to inevitable change.

Agriculture:  Koohan Paik-Mander, chair

  1. Certification for Family Farmers’ organic food and Strategic Plan, Requires the college of tropical agriculture and human resources (CTAHR) cooperative extension division to develop a strategic plan to promote and support small scale organic family farms to create living wage agricultural jobs, increase food resiliency in face of climate change and to promote regenerative farming practices to reverse global warming.  The strategic plan will include reimbursement funds for the cost of certification not covered by federal rebates and earn tax credits for producing and marketing “certified organic” foodstuffs. 

Ecosystem Restoration and Management, Phaethon Keeney, chair

  1. Public Land Dispositions, Amends §171-33 to read as follows: Planning; generally (a) . . . (b) The board of land and natural resources shall not approve any land dispositions to the U.S. military that allows or facilitates any military training activity.
  2. Ecosystem Restoration Commission,  To create a commission, on an expedited timetable, to negotiate with the Federal government to return the use and title of all lands that can be feasibly returned to the ownership and control of the state, and to negotiate for (1) the return of ownership and control of such lands to the State; and (2) the remediation by the Federal government of environmental damages of such lands, whether or not such lands are actually returned.  To the extent that the Federal government fails to undertake such remediation, to require DLNR to acquire FUD “Former Use Defense Site” funds to clean up hazardous material and waste generated from Federal use, e.g., Red Hill Underground fuel storage tanks; Pohakuloa Training Area; Makua Valley Training Area; Waikane Valley Marine Training Area; He`eia Combat Training Area; Kaua`i Missile Defense; Kaho`olawe Island, and other areas where major environmental damage has occurred.

Education, Kris Coffield, chair

  1. Agriculture Education, (1) Creating a farm to school pilot program to provide grants to schools seeking to expand agriculture education initiative; and (2) Funding the P-20 agriculture education coordinator position within the University of Hawaii at Manoa college of tropical agriculture and human resources to oversee ongoing communication and collaboration of the P-20 agriculture education working group and lead the implementation plan for coordinated framework of support for P-20 agriculture education in Hawaii

Energy, Keith Neal and Noel Morin, Co-chairs

  1. Establishes a Zero Net Energy, Zero Net Waste Advisory Council for the planning and implementation of the microgrids natural energy laboratory of Hawaii demonstration project which allows wheeling within the boundaries of the Hawaii ocean sciences and technology park.
  2. HRS §269-91 Public Utilities Commission section on definitions is replaced with the following definitions: (a) For electric utilities, “Combustion” means a high-temperature chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxidant, usually atmospheric oxygen, that produces light, heat, smoke, and can produce electricity.  “Clean electricity” means electricity not generated from fossil fuel and not produced by a combustion method that releases greenhouse gases into the environment. “Dirty electricity” means electricity generated from fossil fuel or produced by a combustion method that releases greenhouse gases into the environment.  “Fossil fuel” means coal, natural gas, petroleum and/or plastic.  “Total Electricity” means dirty electricity plus clean electricity.  “Renewable Portfolio Standard” means the percent of total energy that is represented by clean electricity.  “Utility” means a parent utility and all subsidiaries. . . . 
  3. No Perennial Plants used for Energy, Protects carbon sequestration by requiring an environmental assessment for any large scale clear-cutting of trees and other perennial plants to produce electricity.  
  4. Redefining and clarifying renewable fuels definition and requirements;
  5. Revising statutes regarding Biogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions;

Health & Human Services, Melodie Aduja, chair

  1. EUTF Unfunded Liabilities, Converts the State’s employee health care plan from fully-insured to self-insured or self-funded.  Establishes the rate stabilization reserve fund. Establishes a reserve of $2,000,000,000 within EUTF.  Transfers excess funds, earnings, and any pay-as-you-go employee premiums not spent from the EUTF reserve and other post-employment benefits to the rate stabilization reserve fund.  Continues to provide for the use of a portion of TAT revenues to supplement deficient county public employer contribution amounts. 
  2. Hawaii Health Authority,  To enable the Hawaii health authority to fulfill its duties and responsibilities including the  development of a comprehensive health plan for all individuals using an All-Payer Healthcare model and providing recommendations for resolving unfunded liabilities of the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund, and submitting the plan to the legislature by appropriating $250,000.00 to the Hawaii health authority for the hiring of an executive director and other staff and expenses necessary for the authority.
  3. All-Payer Healthcare,  To implement an All-Payer Health Care Plan which includes: (1) an All-Payer Hospital Plan that requires the same price for the same service regardless of the patients’ socioeconomic status, thereby reducing discrimination against sicker, poorer patients; (2) a global budgeting for hospitals, based on quality of care, not quantity of care, set in the beginning of the year, thereby eliminating predatory competition; and (C)  acquiring a Medicare and Medicaid waiver from the federal government.

Housing, Charley Ice, chair


  • ALOHA Homes, Implements an ALOHA Homes community development plan which is car-free, carbon-neutral, and future growth does not conflict or compromise agricultural or conservation land.


Transportation, Noel Morin, chair

  1. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Expands the State’s existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure requirements. Creates a ratio to calculate the total number of electric vehicle parking spaces must have beginning 7/1/2021.  Allows the chief energy officer of the Hawaii state energy office to fine properties not in compliance with the electric vehicle parking requirements.
  2. Repeals EV Surcharge, Repeals the annual vehicle registration surcharge fee for electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.
  3. State Agencies EV Fleet Requirements, Replacement or expansion of existing state vehicles shall be by zero emission electric vehicles.  By 2023, 30% of all light duty vehicles used by each agency shall be zero emission electric vehicles; by 2027, 60% of all light vehicles used by each agency shall be zero emission electric vehicles; by 2030, 90% of all vehicles used by each agency shall be zero emission ; and by 2035, all vehicles used by each agency shall be zero emission electric vehicles.

Waste Management, Kristine Kubat, chair

  1. Composting on Agricultural Lands, Allows commercial composting on agricultural lands and the transport of composting to agricultural lands. (Amended to remove additional requirements that will be submitted in a similar house bill but which is not part of the Green New Deal Hawaii)

  *Note: Bill numbers have not yet been assigned to this draft legislation and there may be some edits in the weeks to come as we work with legislators and affiliate groups.

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