East Hawaii News

Ige Signs Business, Health, Education Bills

July 2, 2015, 4:18 PM HST
* Updated July 2, 4:20 PM
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Governor David Ige signed five bills into law Thursday within the business, health, and education fields. The bill signing ceremonies took place at the State Capitol, where the governor took to pen and paper on bills relating to business recovery during disasters, stroke patient data, new born screening for critical congenital defects, insurance coverage for clef lip or palate surgeries, and for Department of Education employees to become trained volunteers in blood glucose testing.

HB1343, Act 210 would provide $328,000 in state funds with a federal match of $1,159,000 to establish a Business Recovery Center within the Department of Defense. The recovery center will be hosted online, where businesses and government agencies could collaborate and coordinate information and resources before, during, and after a natural disaster.

In addition, Governor Ige signed HB589, Act 211 to create a state stroke data registry where hospitals will be required to collect uniform data and submit it to the State Department of Health. The data will assist in identifying weaknesses in the state’s stroke care system and work to improve the system’s response to, and quality care of, stroke patients.

Birthing facilities will now be required to screen newborn babies for critical congenital defects using pulse oximetry prior to discharging them from the hospital or birthing center under recently-signed HB467, Act 121. The test is simple, non-invasive, and inexpensive. Sensors are placed on the infant’s hand or foot to check blood oxygen levels. Cost of the test is $5 and is completed within minutes. The law makes Hawai’i the 42nd state to require the testing.

Under HB174, Act 213, insurance coverage is now required to cover orthodontic treatment for orofacial anomalies, clef lip, or palate surgeries. Medical benefits up to $5,500 will be required for orthodontic services for anyone under the age of 26 who was born with orofacial anomalies.

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In the education category, HB10, Act 214 allows Department of Education employees to volunteer to become trained to administer and oversee the administration of insulin, glucagon, or other medications that assist with blood glucose testing.

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