Hawai‘i Dems Set Priorities for 2019 Legislative Session

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The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i released its legislative priorities to Democratic legislators this week (Dec. 21, 2018), in advance of the 2019 legislative session. The priorities, as developed by the party’s Legislation Committee, designated three tiers of priorities to signal the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i’s level of focus this session. A living minimum wage for all workers is the Party’s top priority.

Tier One – Top Priorities

  • Raising the Minimum Wage & Establishing a Living Wage
  • Increasing Funding for Public Education
  • Legalizing Recreational Cannabis

Tier Two – Important Policies That Need Action

  • Establishing Collective Bargaining for Graduate Students
  • Investing in Veterans Treatment Court
  • Developing Neighbor Island Video Conferencing for Public Hearings
  • Establishing Single-Payer Health Care (Medicare for All) in Hawaii

Tier Three – Issues To Begin Working Towards

  • Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services
  • Reforming our Criminal Justice and Bail System
  • Establishing Publicly Funded Elections

“These priorities were set by the Legislation Committee, which is made up of active Party members from around the state,” said Party Chair Keali‘i Lopez. “They represent resolutions or platform planks approved at our state convention earlier this year. We believe each of these issues are high priorities, but we also recognize that legislators have many priorities of their own. Our party looks forward to working with our members in the Legislature to ensure these issues are addressed now and in the future.”

“The Legislation Committee members put in a lot of time on these priorities,” Josh Frost, one of the Legislation Committee’s co-chairs, said. “In the end, while not perfect, this list reflects what the committee believes is both of great necessity for Hawai‘i, but also what is possible.”


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