East Hawaii News

Ige Signs Manufacturing, Medical Amnesty, Farm-to-School Bills

July 7, 2015, 4:21 PM HST
* Updated July 7, 4:22 PM
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Governor David Ige signed four bills into law during a ceremony Tuesday. Among them were SB1001 and HB1069, relating to manufacturing and technology, SB982, relating to medical amnesty for overdoses, and SB376, relating to the farm-to-school program.

Bill SB 1001, Act 215, will provide grants to manufacturers in the state through the High Technology Development Corporation. These grants can be used for equipment, training, improving the energy efficiency of equipment, or for studying or planning the implementation of a new manufacturing facility. The new law’s aim is to assist manufacturers in Hawai’i to increase output while reducing costs, allowing them to be more competitive globally.

Govenor Ige also signed HB 1069, Act 216, which will expand the Small Business Innovation Research Awards matching grant program that currently supports companies in the start-up phase of development. Grants made through the high technology development corporation will help businesses that are ready to move on into prototyping or commercialization.

“We are making significant investments in innovation and technology R&D. These measures represent a strong commitment to the diversification of our state’s economy and the creation of thousands of high-paying jobs in new businesses providing an array of products and services,” said Governor Ige about the new manufacturing and technology laws.

On Tuesday, Governor Ige signed a medical amnesty law for overdoses, also known as the Good Samaritan law. The governor noted, “This law will encourage bystanders who may otherwise hesitate to act. Overdose deaths are preventable, and this law will save lives.”

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SB 982, Act 217, will allow limited immunity for individuals, likely to be close friends or family members, who call 911 to prevent an alcohol or drug overdose from becoming fatal. Many people do not call 911 because they fear police involvement. Under the new law, individuals can come to the assistance of another without fear that calling 911 would result in an arrest.

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Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui was asked by Governor Ige to spearhead the Farm-to-School initiative, which was signed into law Tuesday.

SB 376, Act 218 established the Hawai’i farm-to-school program and funds a farm-to-school coordinator position. Similar programs across the country are reconnecting students to better understand the food system and where food comes from. The programs introduce healthier eating and familiarize students with new fruits and vegetables.

“For a number of years we’ve talked about the importance of Farm-to-School programs, and this bill signing takes the process a giant step forward. This program will ensure that our kids have nutritious meals as they learn about locally grown produce and cattle,” Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui said. “This is a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to working with the program coordinator, various state departments and agencies and the community to make sure we continue to move forward.”

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