Lawmakers are introducing a bill that could make the state the first in the nation to offer long-term care benefits to seniors.
Democratic Sen. Rosalyn Baker said during a legislative hearing today that the bill would provide eligible seniors with a benefit of $70 per day for a year.
The seniors could use the benefit to pay family caregivers, hire in-home aides and help offset the cost of safety equipment, like walkers and ramps.
The bill would ask for a 0.5 percent increase in Hawaii’s general excise tax to cover the costs. The tax is about 4 percent and it’s added to most business transactions in the state.
University of Hawaii political professor Lawrence Nitz says about 25 percent of the tax revenue comes from visitors.