June 20, 2003
STATEMENT OF OBJECTIONS TO SENATE BILL NO. 748
State of Hawaii
Pursuant to Section 16 of Article III of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, I am returning herewith, without my approval, Senate Bill No. 748, entitled "A Bill for an Act Relating to Nursing Education."
The purpose of this bill is to establish a nursing education loan program, administered by the University of Hawaii, to provide loans to qualified nursing students who agree to later secure employment as a nurse in Hawaii. Repayment of the principal and interest will be waived in an amount dependent upon the student's length of employment in Hawaii.
This bill is objectionable because it is questionable whether the partial and total waivers on the principal and interest of the student loans will actually alleviate the nursing shortage in Hawaii enough to justify the cost. Representatives of the School of Nursing testified that qualified applicants for the program have to be turned away because of limitations placed on the number of students that can be admitted to the school. There also is an insufficient number of clinical sites where students can be provided with clinical training and experience.
Furthermore, the bill establishes a special fund to provide loans to qualified nursing students but does not appropriate any moneys into the fund. It is not good policy to establish a special fund without any appropriation or dedicated funding source.
For the foregoing reasons, I am returning Senate Bill No. 748 without my approval.
Governor of Hawaii