Were you an engaged and informed AAUW Hawaii Advocate in spring 2016?

We would like to report all of the bills supported by AAUW Hawaii flew through the legislative process — though some did become laws, we must fight again another day for others.

Bills often begin the legislative process with significant issues — often financial — and need more consideration. Many bills dealing with AAUW Hawaii during the spring 2016 session (equal pay, gender violence, and reproductive health and choice) were also seen as controversial in the male-dominated (only 28.9% women) Hawaii legislative chambers.

While AAUW Hawaii members might have hoped to see better progress in the legislature, members should be proud that submissions on three bills assisted in moving them into either law or resolutions. Senate Bill (SB) 2319 (Contraception, Insurance) allows insured women 12 months of birth control pills with one visit to the pharmacy, rather than providing a month-to-month supply.

A Resolution in support of Planned Parenthood passed in the Hawaii State Legislature (SCR85/SR56), and another supporting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) passed at the Honolulu City Council.

But keep an eye out for these bills to reappear in the spring 2016 session: Paid Family Leave, Equal Pay, Rights for Crime Victims, and Title IX and the Hawaii Department of Education. Many of these bills did not get past the House Finance Committee, or were not considered by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.