Program prioritizes UN Sustainable Development Goals

HONOLULU — The state Senate released the 2020 Senate Legislative Program, which prioritizes eight of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Senate has bipartisan dedication to the protection and sustainability of the islands’ people, communities, natural resources and economic prosperity through advancing these U.N. goals, a press release said.

Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English said, “The Senate is committed to building a more resilient future for our islands by advancing statewide policy changes and encouraging sustainable partnerships between the public and private sectors.

The Sustainable Development Goals the state Senate are prioritizing are:

• Good health and well-being: Improving access to quality health care, including mental- and behavioral-health services, reducing youth vaping, and repurposing underutilized state facilities;

• Quality education: To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, by improving teacher recruitment and retention, strengthening civic education programs, increasing revenue sources to support and enhance secondary education, and expanding career and technical education opportunities to develop a 21st century workforce;.

• Decent work and economic growth: To promote full and productive employment, and work for all, by encouraging job creation and workforce development programs, embracing innovation, and developing sustainable business plans to invest in the future of Hawaii;

• Reduced inequalities: To promote social, economic and political growth for all by increasing the minimum wage, requiring paid family leave, and creating a retirement savings program;

• Sustainable cities and communities: A commitment to develop inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable neighborhoods by increasing access to affordable and transitional housing, reducing homelessness, increasing local food production to promote food security, protecting agricultural lands, improving infrastructure and investing in modern transportation;

• Climate action: Taking urgent action by promoting carbon neutrality, ocean conservation, sustainable land use and protection of watersheds;

• Peace, justice and strong institutions: To promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all; and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels by exploring effective options to restructure government, increase Hawaii’s participation on the international level, enhance public safety, improve social services, expand the Sister State Program, support the State Archives, and increase civic education statewide;

• Partnership for the goals: To strengthen the means of implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by encouraging and promoting effective public, private and civil society partnerships, building on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement economic goals.

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