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October, 2017

Aloha,

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 political persuasion and 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 liking our Facebook page and by opting into our email list via the righthand column or below this text if using a smart phone.

Our caucus was heavily engaged throughout the 2017 State Legislative Session working to pass several bills contained in the 2017 DPH Legislative Package including “Medical Aid in Dying,” Senate Bill 1129 SD2. 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. Our bill was then heard but “deferred” until 2018 by the House Health Committee. NOTE: You may view the entire 2017 House Health Committee hearing HERE.

The good new is, we do not need to start all over in 2018 and will pick up exactly where we left off with the House Health Committee. Mahalo to the many Party members and other community supporters who worked to get it this far, this fast. We could never have done this without your dedication, commitment and hard work. More on 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 the The Kupuna Caregivers Act passed. The AARP and others 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 paid up to $70 a day so they won’t have to give up their full-time job. The money can be used for health care, food, transportation and other home services for their dependents over 60.

The bill provided $600,000 dollars in start-up funding and we will need to go back to the legislature to ask for more next year. 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 HERE.

WHAT’S COMING NEXT?

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.

KupunaCaucusLegislature2017recap
“The Good, Bad and The Ugly.” An assessment of the 2017 Legislative Session sponsored by the Hawai`i Alliance For Retired Americans & The Kokua Council of Seniors.

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.

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Another of our organizational goals is to see the Kupuna Caucus become a repository for the fascinating and empowering history of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. The first of our treasure trove of historic media and photographs may be enjoyed on our History page HERE and on the walls of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i Headquarters. Please let us know if you have any items of historic interest you would like to see included. 

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At the 2016 Hawai`i State Convention

 For immediate information, please contact our Chair and Communications Director, Scott Foster at <kupunacaucushawaii@gmail.com> or phone him at 808-590-5880.

Mahalo for your interest!

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