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Bills tackling homelessness and animal rights on agenda

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Hawaii lawmakers are tackling issues from animal rights to police accountability as lawmakers head into their third full week of the 2016 legislative session.

Here are a few things to watch for:

>> Housing and homelessness. On Monday, the House Committee on Housing will take up a variety of proposals on housing and homelessness, including a bill to incentivize public housing tenants to limit their stay to seven years. They’re also planning to decide on a bill that would offer stipends to people in job training programs and create a program to provide insurance policies to landlords who rent to Section 8 tenants.

Tuesday morning, the House Committee on Human Services will take up a proposal to spend $3 million to build a transitional housing shelter at Sand Island that could house up to 1,500 people. The idea of encouraging indigenous architecture as potential homes will be discussed in the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs on Wednesday.

>> Law enforcement. A pair of Senate committees will discuss a bill Tuesday morning that would allow courts to authorize a person other than an officer of justice to carry out a search warrant, and to allow courts to authorize an officer to obtain technical assistance if the search warrant pertains to an electronic device. A push to have more oversight of county and state police will be discussed in the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs on Thursday, where lawmakers will hear two bills that would create statewide boards to train and certify officers.

>> Health: Lawmakers will discuss the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance exchange that replaced the beleaguered Hawaii Health Connector in a meeting of two House committees Monday afternoon. They’ll take up two bills that discuss the future of the health insurance exchange.

>> State finance: The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor will take up a bill Tuesday morning that would require the state employees’ retirement system to divest its investment portfolio of coal, oil and gas companies within five years.

>> Animal rights. Animal lovers will be at the Capitol for “Humane Lobby Day” Friday to raise awareness about a variety of bills. Their proposals include efforts to end the ivory trade and trafficking of endangered wildlife, bills to protect sharks and rays, and proposals to increase penalties for abandoning pets.

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