STAND. COM. REP. NO. 652________

                                 Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 629
                                     H.D. 1

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committees on Human Services and Housing and Labor and
Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 629 entitled: 


beg leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to support the successful
transition from public assistance to self-sufficiency by
establishing a transitional benefits program, to be known as the
Bridge to Hope Program (Program), for public assistance
recipients to attend school.

     The Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the
Honolulu Community Action Program, the Legal Aid Society of
Hawaii, the Women's Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa,
the Hawaii Area Program of the American Friends Service
Committee, the Welfare and Employment Rights Coalition, the
Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the
Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance, and several individuals
submitted testimony in support of this measure.  The Department
of Human Services (DHS) submitted testimony in opposition of this

     Your Committees believe that it is essential to support
heads of public assistance households, whom are mostly women, to
successfully achieve postsecondary education.  Research shows
that women who earn a college degree spend less time on welfare,
and are less likely to need assistance again. Unfortunately, the

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 652________
                                 Page 2

hardships experienced by those who try to balance parenting, work
requirements, and education are overwhelming.  Under these
conditions, individuals too often must choose to forego an
education to meet strict work requirements and parenting

     Your Committees further find that in years past, the
Legislature set sound social policy by funding immigrants and
two-parent families with general funds.  It is not the intent of
your Committees to jeopardize access and receipt of federal
funds, and therefore, suggests that general funds be used to help
public assistance recipients attend school through the Temporary
Assistance to Other Needy Families Program (TAONF).  Furthermore,
your Committees encourage the University of Hawaii to develop
work opportunities for TAONF recipients attending school.

     Your Committees have amended this measure by:

     (1)  Setting participation criteria for the Program to those
          recipients deemed as experiencing "substantial

     (2)  Defining "substantial hardship" as a situation where an
          individual is incapable of simultaneously meeting
          public assistance requirements, educational
          commitments, and parenting responsibilities to remain
          or become self-sufficient;

     (3)  Removing housing assistance as a support service for
          eligible participants of the Program, but requiring
          referrals to housing subsidies;

     (4)  Requiring the Housing and Community Development
          Corporation of Hawaii to work with DHS to assist
          Program participants with housing issues;

     (5)  Stating that the Program will be exempt from TAONF
          maintenance of efforts;

     (6)  Appropriating funds for the Program;

     (7)  Deleting child care, long-term learning, and work
          preparation initiatives; and

     (8)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for
          purposes of clarity and style.

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your
Committees on Human Services and Housing and Labor and Public

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 652________
                                 Page 3

Employment that are attached to this report, your Committees are
in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 629, as amended
herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form
attached hereto as H.B. No. 629, H.D. 1, and be referred to the
Committee on Finance.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committees on Human Services
                                   and Housing and Labor and
                                   Public Employment,

______________________________     ______________________________