STAND. COM. REP. NO.165-02
RE: H.B. No. 2738
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor and Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2738 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LANGUAGE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to assist persons with limited English proficiency in accessing services statewide.
Specifically, this bill:
(1) Establishes the Hawaii State Commission on Language Access within the Lieutenant Governor's office; and
(2) Appropriates funds to develop and implement systems by which limited English speaking persons can access services, activities, and programs within each state department.
The Representative from the 30th District, Na Loio-Immigrant Rights and Public Interest Center, Catholic Charities, the International Longshoremen and Warehousers Union, and the Inter-Agency Council for Immigrant Services testified in support of this measure.
Hawaii is a culturally diverse state with a significant segment of its population unable to communicate fluently in the English language. This creates difficulty for these individuals to access services offered to the population at large. To assure that persons who are not proficient in the English language are able to receive these services, a comprehensive plan aiming to address this situation needs to be developed.
However, your Committee finds that a preliminary report detailing policies adopted by the Department of Health (DOH) on access to services by individuals with limited English proficiency and describing their implementation is not necessary. Moreover, funding for the development and implementation of these systems also is not necessary at the present time.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting language requiring DOH to submit a preliminary report to the Legislature detailing the policies adopted by DOH on access to services by limited English proficiency persons and describing the implementation plans for these policies;
(2) Eliminating funding for DOH to develop and implement systems by which limited English proficiency persons can access services consistent with the mission of DOH and the mandate of law; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, conformity, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor and Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2738, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2738, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor and Public Employment,
SCOTT SAIKI, Chair