Bill to Provide Hawaiʻi with Funding for Floriculture Research introduced by Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa

– Editors note : The funding is for plant breeding, not for GMO’s.–

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) have introduced the State Assistance for Tropical Floriculture Research Act of 2018 (H.R. 5066) to support floriculture research and development in Hawaiʻi and across the United States. The bill would authorize grants of a minimum of $250,000 annually for selected states to research and develop new and disease resistant varieties of tropical flowers. Hawaiʻi’s floriculture and nursery productsincluding cut flowers, orchids, lei flowers, potted flowering plants, and moreare estimated to be valued at $74.5 million.  

“Floriculture remains one of our most profitable agricultural sectors in Hawaiʻi, supporting hundreds of growers and processors across our islands. The global floriculture market is becoming increasingly competitive, and we must support and empower our local growers.  We also must ensure that our unique flora is protected from invasive species, diseases, and other threats. Our legislation will create opportunities for Hawaiʻi to lead the nation in floriculture research and development now, and for years to come,” 
said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“The floriculture and nursery community in Hawaiʻi is an important part of our agriculture industry and serves a global marketplace. The variety and colors of the flowers grown here coupled with the reliable supply created by our hard working growers attracts foreign and domestic customers, helping to showcase Hawaiʻi to the world,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. “We need to support and help diversify our agriculture industry and this bill would help finance important floriculture research. The University of Hawaiʻi’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) regularly works with the Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association and the State Department of Agriculture on research and programs and it is important to support that type of collaboration in Hawaiʻi and around the country.”

“The Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA) appreciates Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s effort to establish a grant program for research and development of disease resistant varieties of tropical flowers and plants. By directing the Secretary of Agriculture to make grants to State departments of agriculture for this purpose will allow our industry to be more competitive and resilient in the global marketplace,” said Eric Tanouye, Hawaiʻi Floriculture and Nursery Association president.


COFA Act Continues Commitment to Upholding Health Care Promises in Compacts of Free Association

Micronesians, Palau, and the Marshall Islands come to Hawaii and the rest of the United States through the Compact of Free Association (COFA), a law that guarantees Americans and Micronesians easy entry into one another’s countries. COFA allows migrants in the U.S. a status nearly identical to that of a native-born American citizen. The U.S., in turn, enjoys exclusive military access and base rights to the strategic waters of Micronesia.

Hawaii Congressional Delegation Leads Effort to Restore Health Care Access for FAS Citizens

June 21, 2017 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz, and Representatives Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard introduced legislation to reinstate Medicaid coverage for Freely Associated States (FAS) citizens living in the United States.

The Covering our FAS Allies (COFA) Act would restore Medicaid coverage, known in Hawaii as Med-QUEST, for FAS citizens. The United States entered into the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) with the governments of the Freely Associated States (FAS), which include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau that allow FAS citizens to live in the United States and receive certain benefits, including medical coverage. However, in 1996, Congress cut off FAS citizens from access to certain Medicaid benefits.

“This bill will right a wrong that has gone on for far too long,” said Representative Gabbard. “The Federal Government made a promise to these individuals, and it must uphold that commitment, and provide Medicaid to FAS citizens from Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.”

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Tulsi Gabbard Encourages Economic Opportunity for Hawai‘i Businesses at 4th Annual “Hawai‘i on the Hill”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard today spoke at the Fourth Annual Hawai‘i on the Hill Policy Summit, where she thanked the over 70 Hawai‘i business leaders and stakeholders for coming to Washington, D.C. and engaging with leaders to increase economic opportunity for Hawaii.

Over 70 Hawai’i business leaders met with members of Congress and federal officials. It was the Fourth Annual Hawai`i on the Hill Policy Summit, with representatives of diverse industries in Hawai`i – including manufacturing, health care, transportation, and others.
Among those participating were co-sponsor Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce, Hawai`i County Council Vice-Chair Valerie Poindexter, Hawai’i County, University of Hawai’i, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Hawai’i Crop Improvement Association, Kona Coast Shellfish and Big Island Candies.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard later visited the Fourth Annual Taste of Hawai‘i reception on Capitol Hill which featured over 70 members of Hawaii’s local business community, ranging from food and beverage companies to representatives from energy, tourism, and farming industries.

“I was honored to welcome business, community, and state leaders from Hawai‘i to Washington during this annual visit, where they showcased the great economic opportunities and achievements of our state.  They brought the aloha spirit with them, and lots of lei, making great connections and leaving a strong impression on policymakers and leaders in Washington.  I look forward to continuing to work with these great partners towards policies and opportunities that will strengthen our Hawai‘i economy,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.


Wednesday’s policy summit ushered in the third and final day of Hawai‘i on the Hill, an event organized by the Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Senator Mazie Hirono to highlight Hawaii’s contributions to the country.  Beginning with the King Kamehameha I Lei Draping Ceremony on Sunday and ending with the Taste of Hawai‘i today, Hawai‘i stakeholders, business owners, and friends of our Aloha state gathered to celebrate what makes Hawai‘i unique and special. 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year that the Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce has partnered with local and national organizations to introduce representatives from Hawaii’s public and private sectors to federal policymakers.

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