2017 Legislative Update

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If you have an questions regarding these bills, please feel free to email us.

End of Session 2017 Final Update:

5/4/17 All fiscal bills and budget requests for new funding for the HI Growth Initiative did not advance. There will be no new funding for HSDC this year.


 Gov. Calls for New Funding for HI Growth Initiative in his State of the State Address

A new Hawaii Legislature is in session and once again, Gov. David Ige has recognized the HI Growth Initiative in his State of the State address as a priority initiative to grow Hawaii’s economy.

SB761 SD1 / HB974 HD1: Proposal for New funding for HI Growth

Senate Bill 761 SD1 and companion measure House Bill HB974 HD1, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, propose new funding for HI Growth.

Latest Status:

4/27/17 HB100 — HSDC’s $5 million via governor’s budget request did not advance to conference committee.

4/27/17 SB761 SD1  — Bill did not receive a hearing from House FIN committee and is effectively dead.

3/6/2017 HB100 — State Budget Bill requesting $5 million for HI Growth via the governor’s budget request has been scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, March 8. To submit testimony, please reference BED 145–HI Growth Initiative, Seq #100-001.

2/24/17 SB761 SD1 has passed the Senate’s WAM committee, read the committee’s positive summary report.

2/27/17 HB974 HD1 was not scheduled for a hearing with House FIN committee and is effectively dead/will not advance.

2/9/17 SB761 SD1 has passed the Senate’s EET committee, read the committee’s positive summary report and recommendation.

2/9/17 HB974 HD1 has passed the House’s EDB committee, read the committee’s positive summary report and recommendation.


Background: HI Growth has been the leading state initiative to create a pipeline of innovative companies, to support a variety of entrepreneurial events to showcase Hawaii companies, and to attract private investor capital to Hawaii.

When to submit testimony: Public testimony is only accepted on bills that are scheduled for a hearing. To be informed when a bill is scheduled for a hearing, sign up on the Capitol’s website. HSDC will send out reminders about HI Growth related bill hearings.

You may support the bill with or without written explanation. What is most important is to click through and submit. Included below is a short paragraph on the accomplishments of the HI Growth Initiative that you may consider adding to your submitted testimony:

  • I support increased funding for the HI Growth Initiative. HI Growth has been instrumental in jumpstarting Hawaii’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and supporting its development into the vibrant community it is today. Hawaii boasts award winning accelerators. Accelerator graduate companies are growing and hitting milestones that are triggering further investment from private investors. Hawaii hosts international conferences and other events designed to help entrepreneurs incubate their ideas and connect with investors. Hawaii’s private sector sees value in supporting innovation and has participated as investors in several local startups and investment funds. A 2016 UHERO report showed the HI Growth Initiative produced a 12X leverage on state dollars. For all these reasons, we strongly support this bill. All this would not have happened without the strong support of the HI Growth Initiative.

Steps to submit testimony via the Legislature’s website:

  1. Go to capitol.hawaii.gov and sign-in.
  2. If you have not previously submitted testimony, you must register on the site. Email confirmations are sometimes caught in spam folders, so be sure to check those.
  3. Click on the link above to go directly to the page for HB974.
  4. Click on the “Submit Testimony” button.
  5. Fill out the sections for your name and organization, your position on the bill and add any comments you wish to make.  You may also upload separate written testimony if you wish.
  6. Click “Next” at the bottom of the page.
  7. Review your submission.  When complete, check the box at the bottom of the page indicating you agree to the terms and conditions of your submission.
  8. Click “Submit Testimony”