THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

81

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

requesting the hawaii state commission on the status of women to maintain and utilize the self-sufficiency standard as a framework to evaluate programs and develop public policy.

 

WHEREAS, in April 2003, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women in partnership with Dr. Diana Pearce at the University of Washington and the Wider Opportunities for Women published a report on the Self-sufficiency Standard for Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii is the thirty-fifth state of the national Family Economic Self-sufficiency Project to conduct a self-sufficiency study; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard provides a measure that is customized to each family’s circumstances, making it possible to determine if their incomes are adequate to meet their basic needs; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard calculates the bare-minimum costs for housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, miscellaneous (clothing, shoes, household items, telephone, etc.) and federal, state, and local taxes that Hawaii families face; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard also takes into account tax credits, family size, ages of children, geography, and the number of providers; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard more accurately reflects what it costs to support families in Hawaii’s economy; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard is different from the Federal Poverty Level, as the latter is calculated on food costs; and

WHEREAS, the study found that:

(1) Housing and child care costs account for the largest percentage of budget costs for Hawaii's families with children;

(2) The income required for self-sufficiency exceeds other common benchmarks, such as the Federal Poverty Level, of "adequate" income;

(3) Public and private programs such as Section 8 rental assistance, child care assistance, food stamps, and public health insurance, play a vital role in narrowing the gap between actual income and self-sufficiency;

(4) The gap between incomes and living costs is extremely wide where low wage service jobs predominate; and

(5) Only two of the ten largest occupations in Hawaii provide wages sufficient to meet the basic family's needs; and

WHEREAS, the Self-sufficiency Standard is a tool that can be used by policy makers, business leaders, service providers, educators, and the non-profit sector to improve the way they work and serve low-income families in Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, employers, employees, and government can all assist in helping Hawaii’s families reach self-sufficiency; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Human Services, Honolulu City and County Urban and Housing Development, State Workforce Development Council, Aloha United Way, University of Hawaii Bridge to Hope, Enterprise Honolulu, and Maui Economic Development Board are currently exploring ways to use this standard; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women is requested to maintain the access and accuracy of the Self-sufficiency Standard, and with the assistance of other agencies, to identify other areas where the standard may be used; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this identification shall consider the impact of assistance from public and private programs such as Section 8 rental assistance, child care assistance, food stamps, public health insurance, free and reduced lunch, and A Plus program, and how this assistance affects the gap between actual income and self-sufficiency; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, Research and Economic Analysis Division, is requested to assist the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women in the collection, periodic updating, and analysis of the information, and its economic impact; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women is requested to work with other governmental agencies, community groups, and businesses, including but not limited to the Department of Human Services, Honolulu City and County Department of Community Services, Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii, Aloha United Way, University of Hawaii Bridge to Hope, Enterprise Honolulu, Maui Economic Development Board, Kauai Economic Development Board, Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, State Workforce Development Council, and the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs in developing a Hawaii Self-sufficiency Standard; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that every state government agency assisting low income households is requested to utilize this standard, whenever possible, to help guide families and persons towards self-sufficiency and to evaluate programs and develop public policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Human Services, Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, President of the University of Hawaii, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Executive Director of the Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii, Executive Director of the Workforce Development Council, President of the Maui Economic Development Board, President of the Kauai Economic Development Board, President of the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, City and County of Honolulu Director of Community Services, President of the Aloha United Way, President of Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, and President of Enterprise Honolulu.

Standard

Report Title:

Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women; Self-SUFFICIENCY