Winter 2018

This year may well be dubbed the year of the freshman!

November ushered in the largest class of freshman legislators in more than a decade. HFIA is looking forward to meeting these new legislators and working hand-in-hand with them in 2019 to advocate for fresh, healthy and affordable food for the residents of Hawaii.

HFIA’s Upcoming Capitol Day

Looking to the New Year, we have organized key leaders in our industry to talk story with legislators during our panel discussion at HFIA’s Capitol Day on January 8, 2019. We hope you can join us! Our panel consists of Senator Glenn Wakai, Representative Aaron Ling Johanson, Derek Kurisu of KTA Superstores, Joe Carter of Coca-Cola, Carl Fukushima of Safeway, Jason Higa of Zippy’s, Paul Kosasa of ABC Stores, and Victor Lim of McDonald’s.

Government Relations Committee Meeting

Prior to our panel, we will hold a Government Relations Committee Meeting to set our legislative priorities for 2019. A preview of the HFIA legislative package has already been sent to committee members. HFIA rigorously reviews all bills submitted and highlights the most important ones for review. Throughout the session, HFIA tracks and reviews thousands of bills. If you would like to join our Government Relations Committee, we are welcoming new members, so please contact me.

Grocery Tax

HFIA will continue to prioritize opposing any new taxes on groceries, as this is the most regressive form of taxation. We will continue to support local manufacturing, buying, and growing of food. HFIA supports employer flexibility to meet business needs and opposes “one size fits all” mandates.

Make Your VoterVoice Heard

Because YOUR VOICE is so important, HFIA is launching a system to make it easier than ever for you to provide feedback on legislation that impacts your business and community. We will be sending Action Alerts using VoterVoice throughout the legislative session to allow you to seamlessly and easily contact the legislator representing your home district. A bill tracking list and a record of how legislators voted on bills of importance will also be available when you log in to the members-only portal at

Family Meals Month

This year HFIA is very proud to be working with a number of legislators to have September officially declared Family Meals Month in Hawaii. As discussed elsewhere in this issue, joining the nationwide movement to celebrate September as Family Meals Month is a great opportunity to remind Hawaii families to take time to enjoy all the benefits of eating together as a family.

County Legislative Concerns

As far as county council legislation is concerned, an attempt to modify the Honolulu County Bag Bill has stalled for the moment, but we’re continuing to maintain an open dialogue with all concerned parties to make sure that our hard-won progress on this issue is not undone. We’ve also been monitoring a number of bills in Honolulu County aimed at ensuring sidewalks are safe and usable for the general public. In Hawaii County, we’ve been following proposed legislation to lower the fuel tax. We’ve also been tracking the counties’ respective legislative packages as well as the Hawaii State Association of Counties legislative package, which includes a bill to put the Counties back in control of tobacco and electronic smoking laws, and measures to grant tax credits to employers who hire individuals with disabilities, or elderly employees. Wishing our HFIA ‘ohana a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

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