The Public Policy Center conducts a wide range of policy-related projects covering a wide spectrum of issues important to Hawai'i, the United States and the rest of the world. Our approach is multidisciplinary and frequently involves very active involvement with policy makers and community leaders. The Center has recently worked on the development of Hawai'i's 2050 Sustainability Plan, coordinated research and staffed a Task Force on the financing aspects of implementing a long term care plan for the state, and analyzed which schools are effective in obtaining good educational outcomes among Native Hawaiian students in public schools, and is co-facilitating the state's energy policy forum and facilitating the development of and evaluation of two new projects in the area of child welfare reform for the State of Hawai'i.

Con-Con Citizens' Jury

A Citizens’ Jury, organized by PPC researchers, examined whether Hawai‘i should support or oppose holding a state constitutional convention. Participants heard from experts about the ballot question, concentrating on legal, political, financial and historical facts. At the end of the exercise, panelists deliberated among themselves and articulated the primary reasons for both supporting and opposing the convention and listed the generally agreed-upon facts about the issue.

Download: Con-Con Citizens' Jury (pdf)

Media Coverage:

Act-116 Medical Cannabis Outstanding Issues Working Group

The Medical Use of Cannabis Outstanding Issues Working Group (“Working Group”) was established by the Legislature pursuant to HB2729 HD2 SD2 CD1 (2018). Act 116 was signed into law by Governor David Y. Ige on July 5, 2018. The Working Group was established to consider and make recommendations regarding:

  1. Employment: Issues involving an employee who is a registered qualifying patient for whom the medical use of cannabis is permitted pursuant to sections 329-122 and 329-123, HRS; and
  2. Edibles: Authorization and regulation of the manufacture and dispensing of edible cannabis products by a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.

Download: Medical Cannabis Outstanding Issues Working Group Final Report (pdf)

  • Please contact us for access to the Act 230 Legislative Working Group archived files.

Child Welfare Reform

The PPC has been instrumental in the development of WRAP Hawai'i, a new interagency approach to youth involved in multiple systems of care. The idea for Wrap Hawai'i was launched in the fall of 2011 after a meeting organized by the Center and hosted by Family Court lead Judge Browning and Director McManaman of the Department of Human Services. Other key decision makers who attended were from the departments of Health, Education, Office of Youth Services, the Governor's Office, and EPIC 'Ohana, Inc. Since then, a pilot project was launched and 10 youth have been served. Another 15 will be taken by June 2014. A WRAP coordinating committee was organized made up of all the relevant youth-serving agencies and facilitated by the Mediation Center of the Pacific. The Policy Center has been providing the policy leadership, program development and evaluation for this pilot project. Successful outcomes include a joint information sharing MOA, and a single form for families to use across multiple agencies to access WRAP. Monthly meetings take place to break barriers that are blocking children and families from receiving coordinated services. The project has been so successful that WRAP Hawai'i will now be expanded and offered to youth in the Hawai'i Youth Correctional System and youth living in foster care for over 9 months. Dr. Chandler was acknowledged for her work on this project by the Family Court's award for outstanding community service.

Download: WRAP HAWAI'I Progress Report, November 2013 (pdf)

Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force

Act 8 of 2005 established the Hawai'i 2050 Sustainability Task Force and provided for the development of a sustainability plan to address the vital needs of Hawai'i through the year 2050 and beyond. The 25 member task force, comprised of public and private representatives with a diverse range of experience recommended the Hawai'i 2050 Sustainability Plan, with a long-term action agenda, for adoption by the State Legislature. In 2008, the Public Policy Center was commissioned to review the Hawai'i 2050 Sustainability Plan (Act 225, 2008 Session Laws of Hawai'i) and (1) develop defined data, data sources, and benchmarks for each of the major goals; (2) consult with leaders and organizations relevant to each of the main goals of the H2050 Plan; and (3) report findings and recommendations to the 2010 Legislature.

Download: Hawai'i 2050 Sustainability Plan Update, Full Report & Appendices (pdf) 

Reports and Briefs