Business / In Brief • July 2, 2013

Governor signs domestic workers bill

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a domestic workers bill of rights, making Hawaii the second U.S. state to give nannies, housekeepers and others protections on wages and other labor issues.

Abercrombie signed the bill Monday afternoon at a ceremony at the Capitol. The legislation was part of a group of bills signed together that touched on several issues, including human trafficking, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and breastfeeding.

The domestic workers bill makes it illegal to discriminate against workers based on several factors, including race, gender and sexual orientation. It covers cooks, waiters, butlers and others, including some babysitters.

The bill had little opposition in the heavily Democratic chambers.


Welfare program ends for farmers markets

LIHUE – The Kauai Independent Food Bank no longer has the funds to continue a food stamp program at farmers markets.

As of Saturday, the Electronic Benefits Transfer funds are no longer accepted at farmers markets. EBT allows the state to deposit welfare benefits onto a debit card, which shoppers can use to buy groceries.

The food bank started the program with a grant in 2012 to allow EBT funds to be used at four of Kauai’s sunshine markets. The program was later expanded.

The Garden Island reports the county provided $40,000 to give EBT recipients double purchasing power, increasing their access to locally grown produce.

But the food bank has since run out of money to continue the program.

The food bank is hopeful an organization can resume the program.