The 2021 legislative session will end on April 29. In its final weeks, we review which
bills remain alive. Faith Action, along with many other community organizations, had
high hopes before the session began to make progress on affordable housing and
environmental justice. However, most of those hopes have faded, and many
community organizations have been disappointed.
HousingNOW! And Environmental Justice
Faith Action had endorsed several major bills, such as Sen. Stanley Chang’s A.L.O.H.A
Homes bill that would develop tens of thousands of homes on State land to be leased at
truly affordable prices to Hawaii’s residents (SB 1 and HB 607). Faith Action also
endorsed the carbon fee and dividend model (SB 311 and HB 134), which would reduce
fossil fuel emissions, while having financial benefits to low-income households.
Those measures, however, have died.
Subsequently, Faith Action’s Environmental Justice and Housing NOW! Task Forces
decided to support several bills that were still alive, but more modest in nature. These
surviving bills included parts consistent with the “big idea” bills that Faith Action
The Housing NOW! Task Force supported the following:
•SB 733 designated affordable housing to be built on all State-owned land within one
mile of any rail station.
• SB 40 required housing developed by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development
Corporation to be occupied by the owners, who must be Hawaii residents who own no
other real property. Furthermore,
•SB 33 required each county to create a housing supply plan to accommodate the
increased demand for housing.
Unfortunately, of all the bills supported by Housing NOW!, the only bill still alive (as of
April 10) is SB 2, which facilitates the development of public lands for affordable
The Environmental Justice Task Force supports the following bills and a resolution still
alive as of April 10:
•SB 1401 requires new infrastructure for ground transportation to be more
•SB 1402 requires the State to adopt a plan for ground transportation that emphasizes
bicycle and pedestrian pathways.
•SCR44 declares a climate emergency and urges immediate action to address climate
After the legislative session ends, the Environmental Justice Task Force will issue a
scorecard to let the public know to what degree each State legislator supported
Long-Term Care Task Force
The Long-Term Care Task Force supports SB 838, which provides the Executive Office
on Aging with greater flexibility to help kupuna caregivers. This bill is still alive as of
During the 2021 legislative session the Legislature seems to have directed most of its
attention and energy toward the effect of Covid-19 on the economy and the State
budget. As a result, the Legislature didn’t do much about other issues – critical though
they might be. Faith Action will continue to pursue issues of critical importance to the
people of Hawaii and is already thinking about the 2022 legislative session.