East Hawaii News

Governor Ige Signs Several Bills in Law

April 25, 2016, 4:48 PM HST
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Governor David Ige. Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor David Ige.

Governor David Ige. Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor David Ige.

Three bills were signed into law on Monday by Governor David Ige, including laws that involve the Affordable Care Act, Respiratory Therapists, and Driver Licensing.

SB2775, Act 13 involves the Affordable Care Action Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver. The law allows the state to submit an innovation waiver to the United States Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury requesting a waiver of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act that compromises the state’s existing Prepaid Health Care Act.

Under the bill, the state is also allowed to implement the waiver after being approved by the federal government.

In addition, SB 2341 was signed into law. Act 14 relates to respiratory therapists and makes the licensure and regulation of the therapists permanent. It also creates a board for respiratory care.

“There are 200,000 people with lung disease in Hawai‘i who need quality care,” Governor Ige said in a release Monday afternoon. “Licensing respiratory therapists will enable them to work outside of hospital settings such as hospices or community clinics.

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“This law will ensure that respiratory therapists practicing in Hawai‘i are held to the same high standards, guaranteeing quality of care for our people and building safer, healthier communities.”

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The third bill signed was SB 2934 SD2 – Act 15 in relation to driver licensing. The law allows the implementation of reciprocal driver’s licenses with foreign jurisdictions. The Director of Transportation will be allowed to waive the written test for applicants with recognized licenses.

All driver’s licenses will be required to have a photograph of the licensee.

 “In this modern age of cross border commerce and cooperation, this will be instrumental in increasing tourism and bolstering our economy by making it easier for visitors to drive throughout our state,” said Senator J. Kalani English, who had been a supporter of the bill from his time as chair of the Senate Transportation committee. “Hawai‘i driver’s license holders will also benefit from this Act by allowing our citizens traveling in foreign countries to be able to drive abroad.”

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