2019 Policy Agenda Results

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The Hawaiʻi Children’s Policy Agenda reflects the collaboration of Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi’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 Hawaiʻi-grown fresh produce
Lead: Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice

Funding for the telehealth portal within the Hawaiʻi 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: Hawaiʻi Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance

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

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

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 Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi’s children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Join our movement today!


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

Hawaiʻi's keiki need superheroes like you to spread the word! Join us on: