Three Senate Committees and four House Committees will jointly conduct an informational briefing on a recently introduced proposal to close the Hawaii State Hospital at Kaneohe. The hospital, which cares for the mentally and emotionally distressed, including those convicted of crimes, is also under a Federal Court Order to meet certain requirements.
The briefing will be held Wednesday, April 7, 1999 in the State Capitol Auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Legislature is expediting the processing of this bill, however, due to an internal House of Representatives deadline, the measure will also be heard by the Finance Committee a couple of hours prior to the informational briefing.
"It's somewhat unusual, but it will not affect the final outcome of the bill," according to Rep. Alex Santiago (D-Waialua to Kahuku), House Health Committee chair. "It doesn't change the fact that we will do what is in the best interests of the patients, their families and the community."
Rep. Dennis Arakaki (D-Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley), chair of the House Human Services and Housing Committee, said it is also important to ensure that "there are sufficient providers of the necessary services in the community to provide the proper care."
The Senate committees participating include:
Health & Human Services, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, Chair
Labor & Environment, Sen. Bob Nakata, Chair
Judiciary, Sen. Avery B. Chumbley and Sen. Matt Matsunaga, co-Chairs
The House committees include:
Health, Rep. Alex Santiago, Chair
Human Services & Housing, Rep. Dennis Arakaki, Chair
Labor & Public Employment, Rep. Terry Nui Yoshinaga, Chair
Public Safety & Military Affairs, Rep. Nestor Garcia, Chair
For more information, contact the committee clerks at the following offices:
Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, 586-6130
Rep. Alex Santiago, 586-6380
Rep. Dennis Arakaki, 586-6050