Invest in Hawaii's Kids!


I'm writing because I see children's programs in Hawaii as an investment, not a cost.  I'm asking you to tackle the following issues in HB 1700 -- the State Budget -- before the legislative session ends:

1)  Preschool Open Doors -- Quality early learning is a key component to every state’s early childhood strategic plan. Child care helps communities prosper. It gives children the opportunity to learn and develop skills they need to succeed in school and in life and gives parents the support and peace of mind they need to be a productive at work.  Please provide $6.1 million in state general funds for this program to continue serving nearly 1,300 at-risk children across the state.

2)  Homeless Families & Children -- Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the nation. It is estimated that one-third of our homeless are children!  We should make a commitment to serve distinctive groups of the homeless, such as families with children, domestic violence victims and individuals with disabilities in ways that help address the specific issues they are facing. 

3)  Paid Family Leave -- The Washington Post reported that 87 percent of California businesses had no increased cost, and 9 percent said the program saved money by reducing employee turnover and saving them from paying their own benefit costs. Similar programs have also been working in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Washington and Washington D.C, New York, and San Francisco.  The legislature is missing the mark this session by not even funding a study to explore the idea further.

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Mahalo for your Consideration,

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