The Kūpuna Caucus secured over $30 million in funding for various programs, centers and resources aimed at caring for and protecting kūpuna across the state during this legislative session, the caucus stated.
The caucus also passed one bill from their legislative package and supported three others that are now waiting for the governor’s approval.
At the start of the legislative session, the Kūpuna Caucus set out to introduce bills aimed at assisting elders in their daily living and increasing overall quality of life and care. Members of the Senate and House worked closely with community advocates, government agencies and interested individuals to write legislation to achieve this goal.
“As many of our kūpuna continue to age, the collaborative work of our caucus has become increasingly necessary,” said co-conveners Senator Sharon Moriwaki (Senate District 12-Waikīkī, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, McCully, Mō‘ili‘ili, and part of Makiki) and Representative Troy Hashimoto (House District 8 – Kahakuloa, Waihe‘e, Waiehu, Pu‘uohala, Wailuku, Waikapū). “These bills scale up to the needs of our kūpuna. They expand access to healthcare and fund disability resources and programs that will put our kūpuna on solid footing.”
Budget highlights include:
$2,650,000 for Kūpuna Care program
$1,500,000 for Aging and Disability Resource Centers for all counties across the State
$25,952,297 to provide adult dental benefits to MedQuest patients under “Option 2”, including both cleaning and treatment services.
Funding for five positions for the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
Bills passed include:
SB2679 SD2 HD2 CD1 – Extends the renewal period from two years to four years for licensees who are seventy-two years of age or older but younger than eighty years of age. Takes effect 1/1/2023.
SB1138 SD2 HD2 CD1 – Establishes the annual expenditure ceiling of the Office of Health Care Assurance Special Fund through the state budget process. Appropriates funds to complete the health care facility management information system project.
SB3113 SD2 HD1 – Incorporates the kūpuna caregivers’ program into the Kūpuna Care program and adds services for care recipients, caregivers, and employed caregivers.
SB3289 SD2 HD2 CD1– Establishes the Hawai’i Retirement Savings Program, administered by the Hawai’i Retirement Savings Board, to provide a state-facilitated payroll-deduction individual retirement savings plan to private sector employees who do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans beginning on an implementation date to be determined by the board. Authorizes an implementation and evaluation study, followed by an implementation strategy and timetable, prior to implementation of the program. Provides a state match of up to $500 to the accounts of the first 50,000 covered employees who participate in the program for twelve consecutive months after initial enrollment.
SB3236 SD2 HD1 CD1 – Appropriates funds to provide enhanced payments to state-licensed skilled nursing facilities, community care foster family homes, and expanded adult residential care homes that are caring for Medicaid patients; provided that the Department of Human Services shall obtain the maximum amount of federal matching funds available for this expenditure.