2019 Policy Agenda Results

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The Hawaii Children’s Policy Agenda reflects the collaboration of Hawaii Children’s Action Network Community Champion members. Members are committed to improving the lives of Hawaii’s children and families by promoting public policy changes that benefit their health, safety, and education.

This recap of the 2019 legislative session highlights the wins and some of the most significant losses. While there were strong wins for keiki and youth in 2019, the legislature was unsuccessful in passing critical initiatives that would have improved the lives of Hawaii’s children and families.

By the Numbers


28 organization & 11 individual members collaborated on the Agenda


25 policy initiatives, 71 bills introduced, 14 bills passed

  • 7 Education initiatives
  • 6 Health & Wellness initiatives
  • 5 Economic Security & Equity initiatives
  • 4 Child Welfare initiatives
  • 3 Family Strengthening initiatives


28 action alerts sent on behalf of members


2 community rallies in support of early childhood legislation



Big Wins for Keiki

SNAP recipients can get double credit when using their benefits to buy Hawaii-grown fresh produce
Lead: Hawaii Public Health Institute, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice

Funding for the telehealth portal within the Hawaii State Department of Health
Lead: Early Childhood Action Strategy

Eliminating the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) tax loophole to increase revenue for affordable housing, schools, roads, or other community needs
Lead: ALICE Policy Hui

More Wins for Keiki

10 new Executive Office of Early Learning (EOEL) Pre-K classrooms, 18 charter Pre-K programs, puts charter schools under EOEL
Lead: Hawaii Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance

Requiring restaurants to replace sugary drinks with water or milk in kids’ meals as the default option
Lead: Hawaii Public Health Institute

Identifiying Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) as eligible for Developmental Disabilities services
Lead: Hawaii FASD Action Group

Health insurance providers must cover clinical victim support services as a benefit of their plans
Lead: The Sex Abuse Treatment Center

Establishing a licensing and regulatory process for midwifery
Lead: Midwives Alliance of Hawaii

Establishing a multidisciplinary working group to establish a program to consistently deliver sexual violence prevention (Erin’s Law) to students in grades pre-K through 12
Lead: The Sex Abuse Treatment Center

Extending a study to examine a paid family leave insurance program to provide 16 weeks of partial wage replacement, based on a sliding scale
Lead: Working Families Coalition

Forming a working group on establishing visitation centers at correctional facilities to improve visitation by children of incarcerated persons
Lead: Blueprint for Change

Missed Opportunities

Banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state of Hawaii

Expanding the existing Hawaii Dependent Care Tax credit

Raising the minimum wage to a livable wage, eliminating the tip credit, and automatically adjusting for cost of living


You can ensure Hawaii’s children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Join our movement today!


Hawaii Children’s Action Network is a movement fighting for children and their families. We advocate for laws and policies that keep our children safe, healthy and ready to learn so they can thrive. This takes a league of members, volunteers, and donors.

The results of this agenda would not have been possible without the dedication and partnership of our Community Champion Members, community partners, and the Hawaii State Legislature and its staff. Mahalo!

Join this league of superheroes or make a tax-deductible gift today!

Community Champion Members



  • AlohaCare
  • American Academy of Pediatrics - Hawaii Chapter
  • Blueprint for Change
  • Center on the Family - University of Hawaii
  • Easter Seals Hawaii
  • EPIC Ohana
  • Family Hui Hawaii
  • Family Programs Hawaii
  • Family Support Services of Hawaii
  • Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action
  • Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice
  • Hawaii Association of School Psychologists
  • Hawai‘i Keiki: Healthy & Ready to Learn
  • Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network
  • Hawaii Public Health Institute
  • Hawaii State Teachers Association
  • Hawaii Youth Services Network
  • Imua Family Services
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • The Learning Coalition/He‘e Coalition
  • Parents And Children Together (PACT)
  • PATCH Hawaii
  • Seagull Schools
  • Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii
  • Project Vision Hawaii
  • The Sex Abuse Treatment Center
  • Waianae Coast Early Childhood Services



  • Stephanie Batzer
  • JoAnn Farnsworth
  • Jessica Garlock
  • Elizabeth McFarlane
  • Jacce Mikulanec
  • Quin Ogawa
  • David Okumura
  • Melissa Pavlicek
  • Jeannine Souki
  • Karen Worthington
  • Erica Yamauchi


Want to join the movement? Click here to become a Community Champion member or learn about other opportunities!

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