We just appropriated $2,000,000 in CARES Act money to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and upgraded the Department of Human Services’ IT system to handle the increased demand so we can get Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT) and SNAP benefits to more families.
We will get through this together and we will create a more equal and resilient Hawaii.
When I think about the future for Hawaii, I have maintained many of my original visions, and the effects of COVID-19 have elevated these priorities even more so. I have always fought to create a more affordable Hawaii. I am very proud of our prepaid health care law. Hawaii is the only state in the nation that requires employers to pay for employee health insurance coverage, including part-time employees. However, we need to make housing and childcare more affordable for our residents. To do this, I worked with Senate leadership to introduce a 2020 joint package that would provide relief for lower- and middle-income taxpayers, establish more affordable rental housing, and provide universal preschool. Post-pandemic, I know we will continue to fight to pass our joint package and build a more resilient economy.
As a state representative, I listen to my community first and make sure I address their needs. My main priority is to ensure that we put forth a responsible state budget. We are facing one of the biggest budget shortfalls in our State’s history and as a legislative leader, it is my duty to ensure that we close the gap as much as possible while ensuring that we can continue to provide essential government services that many people depend upon now more than ever.