Senator Gabbard's Legislation that Became Law

2008

  • SB 1891 (Act 216) - gives the Department of Land and Natural Resources greater enforcement powers to protect our public lands and prevent ATVs and other vehicles from illegally driving on our beaches.
  • SB 2373 (Act 184) - requires retailers to maintain an electronic log of pseudoephedrine sales (a primary ingredient in making "ice") and submit a monthly report to the Department of Public Safety.

2009

  • SB 464 (Act 154) – made the Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit refundable and in the process creates green collar jobs, helps revive the construction industry, increases energy security, and reduces our carbon emissions. It also saves the state millions in electricity costs by making solar energy projects viable for state buildings, such as public schools.
  • SB 1065 (Act 157) – allows the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) to sell electricity to its tenants and Keahole Airport without being considered a mini-utility.
  • SB 1066 (Act 104) – increases the number of NELHA Board of Directors to 13, by adding two tenant representative directors.
  • SB 1259 (Act 125) – protects innocent property buyers or neighboring property owners from being held liable for environmental contamination they didn't cause.
  • SB 1260 (Act 42) – made it so polluters who produce more than 4,000 tons of air pollution emissions a year are no longer be exempt from paying additional fees.

2010

  • SB 2817 (Act 201) – prevents homeowner associations from unreasonably restricting homeowners in installing solar energy devices, such as photovoltaic solar panels or solar water heaters. This is a common sense measure that removes one of the last roadblocks in the path of homeowners in associations who want to take the positive step of installing solar energy devices on their homes.
  • SB 466 (Act 206) – limits the hours that a leaf blower can be used in a residential area and also establishes fines for violation. This is a quality of life issue for many people around the state who suffer from the loud noise and pollution this lawn equipment creates.
  • SB 2231 (Act 186) – prohibits a condominium association from preventing owners from installing an electric vehicle charging station on or near their parking stalls. It is likely that in the coming years we'll see a great increase in the number of electric vehicles on our roads.
  • SB 2563 (Act 175) – sets the goal that our state meet 30% of its fuel demand with renewable fuels, such as biofuels, by 2030. Also, allows the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to collect fees for those who seek exemptions from the state's solar water heater mandate, which was the first such law in the nation.
  • SB 2357 (Act 30) – requires the Gas Company to report to the Public Utilities Commission the amount of renewable energy sources they are using to produce their synthetic natural gas. The hope is that they will continue moving in the "green" direction.

2011

  • SB 181 (Act 198) – directed the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) to establish a working group to study the feasibility of establishing a new requirement that all new homes in the state be photovoltaic-ready.
  • SB 704 (Act 9) - clarifies our laws by allowing companies to lease PV systems to homeowners in order to mitigate up-front costs and exempt those businesses from being treated as a utility by the PUC.
  • SB 1482 (Act 109) – requires the PUC to consider the need to reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuels when making decisions regarding renewable energy projects.

2012

  • SB 2281 (Act 172) - allows applicants or agencies to bypass an environmental assessment (EA) and proceed directly to an environmental impact statement (EIS) if the proposed project is likely to require an EIS anyway. This saves applicants time and money without compromising environmental protections.
  • SB 2277 (Act 145) – extends the authority of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue incidental take licenses as part of habitat conservation plans and safe harbor agreements for endangered species through June 29, 2017.

2013

    • SB 1087 (Act 211) - allows for the establishment of a Green Infrastructure Financing Program. It will help us leverage private investment to assist lower and middle income folks in purchasing solar PV and other energy efficiency improvements through loans, which they would pay back with their electricity bill.
    • SB 19 (Act 261) – clarifies the law to allow renters and commercial tenants to also gain access to the benefits of lowering their electricity bills through solar PV. This will greatly benefit the residents and businesses of Kalaeloa who are faced with a steep increase in electricity costs that was recently announced by the Navy.
    • SB 23 (Act 129) - authorizes the issuance of SPRBs to assist Kaiuli Energy, LLC, with the financing of the planning, design, construction, equipping, acquisition of land, and other tangible assets for a seawater air conditioning district cooling facility and chilled water distribution system.
    • SB 614 (Act 281) - requires the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to commission permanent works of art to honor the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink.

 

2014

·         SB 2175 (Act 56) - authorizes the Dean of the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to establish a two year hemp remediation and biofuel research project. This starts us on the path of growing our own hemp, an incredible crop that is used in over 27,000 products.

·         SB 2196 (Act 107) –extends the barrel tax to 2030, which was scheduled to end in 2015. Some of these funds are dedicated to energy and food security. The bill would also reinstate the Energy Systems Develop Special Fund, which assists the UH based Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute secure federal funding for their important research.

·         SB 2657 (Act 106) –sets procedures for the continuation of roof guarantees and warranties when solar PV panels are installed on the roof of a home. There have been disagreements in some situations in the past and this will make things work more smoothly.

·         SB 2658 (Act 55)  -allows solar projects to be located on parcels of Class B & C lands greater than 20 acres as long as a special use permit is obtained through the Land Use Commission. A provision in the bill requires the solar developers to lease additional lands to farmers at 50% lower than the market rate to make it easier for agriculture to thrive.

 

 2015

·         SB 1050 (Act 100) – requires our electric utilities to apply with the Public Utilities Commission by October 1, 2015 to establish a community-based renewables program. This will allow people to hui up, find a piece of land, and purchase or lease however many PV panels they want and then get a credit on their electricity bill for the energy they produce. This will benefit our renters and those without roof space, because they too can now lower their electricity bills and do something good for our environment.

·         SB 1316 (Act 164) - establishes a Working Group to examine the delays that have been occurring with the installation of electric vehicle charging systems at condominium and apartment communities. The idea is to make it easier for electric car owners to install a charging station where they live.

·         SB 1049 (Act 189) – prohibits the approval of an electronic device manufacturer's recycling plan if the plan only provides electronic device owners with a mail-back option. The bill's aim is to make it more convenient for people to recycle their electronic devices.

·         SB 359 (Act 185)  – expands the existing barrel tax on petroleum to also include coal and liquid natural gas to help fund energy & food security and emergency environmental clean ups. The bill also helps stabilize the funding for the environmental health functions of the Department of Health.

2016

SB 2659 (Act 228) - an historic bill establishing a 5-year industrial hemp pilot program under the Department of Agriculture to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp for agricultural and academic research. (Note: You can’t get high on hemp!  See the documentary, “Bringing It Home”. ) This would include the commercial sale of hemp as marketing and industry development. The Hemp Industries Association estimated last year that the retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. was $620 million.

 SB 2647 (Act 125) – according to a 2008 study, Hawai‘i has the nation’s third largest market for ivory, after New York and California. This bill would ban people selling any part or product from the following animal species: elephant, rhino, hippo, lions, pangolins, cheetah, jaguar, or leopard and the following marine species: sea turtles, monk seals, narwhal, whales, or walrus. The passage of this bill goes after those involved in this illegal wildlife trade and in no way impacts the possession of ivory by the many Hawai‘i families who own these items.

SB 2645 (Act 169) - there are over 100 public water systems in the state. Many of these water systems operate with inefficiencies that result in the loss of water, increased energy costs, and lost revenue. This bill would require the Commission on Water Resource Management to establish a 5-year program to conduct standardized water audits of public water systems.

 SB 2652 (Act 202) – this bill would establish a renewable fuels production tax credit and repeal the existing ethanol facility tax credit. Renewable fuels that would qualify would be methanol, ethanol, hydrogen, biodiesel or renewable diesel, biogas, other biofuels, or renewable jet fuel or renewable gas.