The Kupuna Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i (DPH) advocates for the interests of Hawaii’s seniors and their extended families in healthcare, end-of-life issues, truly affordable housing and other related issues. We are a fully engaged and politically active volunteer organization working to pass progressive legislation based on the DPH Platform & Resolutions and to change the way things work (or don’t work) at the State Legislature. If you’re as frustrated with government – local and national – as we are and want to actually “do” something about it, you’ve come to the right place!
The number of issues we are able to manage depends entirely on you. Membership in the Kupuna Caucus is open to registered Democrats and “Democrats at heart” of any age because we believe that all generations must work together in order to solve the many challenges facing Hawai`i and indeed the nation and world.
Join us today by by opting into our email list via the righthand column or below this text if using a smart phone. If you use Facebook, please “Like” us HERE.
Our caucus was heavily engaged during the 2017 State Legislative Session working to pass many bills contained in the 2017 DPH Legislative Package including “Medical Aid in Dying.” After a decade without a serious hearing, our bill quickly passed the Senate Health and Judiciary Committees and then the full Senate with only two “no” votes. Unfortunately, the bill was heard and then deferred by the House Health Committee. At least three bills have been introduced for 2018 and we will let you know more by email regarding their hearing status. More about Medical Aid In Dying HERE.
Another great success in 2017 was the passage of Senate Bill 530 SD2 which restored the State Long Term Care Ombudsman Specialist for Oahu and provides funding to contract three part-time care home inspectors for Kauai, Maui and Hawai`i counties. The money was released on July 1, 2017 and we worked with our sister organization, the Kupuna Caucus of the Hawai`i State Legislature and other advocates to speed up the process to see the new positions authorized by the Health Department.
We were also very active in seeing Hawaii’s landmark Kupuna Caregivers Act passed. The AARP (and many other individuals and organizations) had worked for 21 years to see this “first-in-the-nation” legislation passed and it is now being used as the “model bill” by many other states.
Caregivers employed at least 30 hours a week can be assisted up to $70 a day for professional health care, food, transportation and other home services for their dependents over 60.
The original bill provided $600,000 dollars in start-up funding and we are now working to secure another $2 million to expand this important legislation. The law impacts 150,000+ family caregivers in the islands. Read the complete ACT 102 of 7/06/2017 HERE.
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter said it first and she said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” See Rosalynn Carter: A Pioneering Caregiving Advocate Says More Must Be Done HERE
See a complete list of other bills your Kupuna Caucus supported in 2017 HERE. Check back here to see the complete list of our 2018 legislative agenda when known.
We’ve been working since the 2017 legislative session ended on May 5th to network with other supportive organizations re senior issues including the Kokua Council of Seniors and the Kupuna Caucus of the Hawai`i State Legislature and with your help we will be well positioned to act on other issues important to Hawaii’s kupuna and their extended families during the 2018 Legislative Session — including Medical Aid In Dying; Death With Dignity.
Now in our 2nd year, Navigating The Journey is a live weekly broadcast on Think Tech Hawaii hosted by our own Marsha Joyner. Our 11:30 am Wednesday show routinely presents the latest local political news and explores eldercare including the options and choices of end-of-life issues. After the live broadcast, our shows are archived on line HERE.