HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

104

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

REQUESTING FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT FROM CONGRESS FOR STATE EXPENSES RELATED TO MIGRANTS TO HAWAII FROM MICRONESIA AND THE MARSHALL ISLANDS OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS.

 

 

WHEREAS, Governor Benjamin Cayetano has determined that the federal government owes the State of Hawaii more than $85 million for past education and social services provided to thousands of Micronesians and Marshall Islanders who migrated to Hawaii over the past 15 years; and

WHEREAS, Governor Cayetano cited the "compact’s generous entry rights" as a "cornerstone of US foreign and defense policy"; and

WHEREAS, the last estimate of compact migrants in Hawaii numbered 5,509 in 1997; and

WHEREAS, by the state’s latest estimate, those uncompensated costs are continuing at more than $14 million a year, including $10 million for public education; and

WHEREAS, last year Congress appropriated $4 million for Hawaii in federal impact aid to reimburse costs that date back to 1986; and

WHEREAS, when Congress approved the compacts of free association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 1986 and the Republic of Palau in 1994, it gave the citizens of all three nations open access to the United States and its territories; and

WHEREAS, Congress also agreed that "the Congress will act sympathetically and expeditiously to redress" any adverse consequences caused Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands; and

WHEREAS, there has been no significant redress; and

WHEREAS, to exacerbate Hawaii’s financial drain, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that Hawaii’s compact migrants are no longer entitled to federal Medicaid funds after the 1996 welfare reform act that cut off Medicaid to aliens, although migrants in Guam and the Marshall Islands were exempted; and

WHEREAS, according to Gov. Cayetano, Hawaii’s private hospitals and health care providers have had to contend with "a staggering bad debt from the Marianas and Marshall Island governments’ health care referrals; and

WHEREAS, Queen’s Medical Center reported that in 2001 the three island nations owed Queen’s $11.4 million, with payments up to five years late and averaging only 30 cents on the dollar; and

WHEREAS, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children reported receivables of $1.3 million and expect to collect less than 30 percent of the amount; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, that the House of Representatives requests Congress to appropriate $85 million to reimburse Hawaii for the expenses incurred for education and social services provided to Micronesians and Marshall Islanders who migrated to Hawaii over the past 15 years; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority leaders of the United States Senate, members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, the Secretary of the Interior, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate.

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

Report Title:

Federal reimbursement; state expenses related to Micronesian and Marshallese immigrants for the past 15 years