Health care highlights in Hawaii’s FY 2020, 2021 state budget

Last week, the State House and Senate approved the final version of Hawaii’s budget bill (HB2), about a month earlier than in previous legislative sessions. The $16 billion budget covers state operations over fiscal years 2020 and 2021.


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A press release from the Hawaii State Legislature Majority Democrats highlights the following health and social services funded in the budget:

Department of Human Services:

    • $38,369,000 in fiscal year 2021 for Medicaid

Department of Health:

    • $289,014 in fiscal year 2020 for 12 positions and $9,195,886 in fiscal year 2021 for 127 additional positions for the new Hawaiʻi State Hospital Forensic Building
    • $7,702,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $5,814,000 in fiscal year 2021 to increase the state match for the Medicaid Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Waiver..
    • Add $20,000,000 in fiscal year 2020 for Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation.
    • Add 7 permanent positions and $869,174 for Food Safety Inspections.
    • Add $500,000 in fiscal year 2020 for State Laboratory mold remediation.
    • Add 3 permanent positions and $265,818 in fiscal year 2020, and 6 permanent positions and $375,764 in fiscal year 2021 for non-point source water pollution.

Department of Budget and Finance:

    • $51,020,981 for FY20 and $57,340,240 for FY21 for the payment of health premiums for state employees


The bill’s Negotiation Draft, which is part of the 2019 budget worksheets, also includes several notable health and human services-related funding allocations:

  • $4.15 million to increase Kupuna Care base funds and $2 million for the Kupuna Caregiver program
  • $200,000 (FY20), $160,000 (FY21), for the state’s telehealth pilot project
  • $3,750,000 for the Housing First program
  • $3,750,000 for rapid-rehousing
  • $1,750,000 for homeless outreach services
  • $2,050,450 for the state rent supplement program
  • $400,000 for cultural healing centers

The bill that passed out of the House and Senate includes a breakdown of funding by state department, but does not include funding allocations for individual programs and initiatives. Funding included in the Negotiation Draft is not considered final.

A representative from the House Democrats’ communication department says the final budget breakdown worksheet won’t be available until May, after session ends.

The operating budget now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The capital improvements budget bill and the grants-in-aid portion of the budget are still working their way through the legislature.