STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3013

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2770

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

Your Committee on Human Services and Public Housing, to which was referred H.B. No. 2770, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BRIDGE TO HOPE PROGRAM,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to expand the Bridge to Hope Program to enable all heads of households participating in the First-to-Work Program to pursue an approved course of study that is not strictly limited to vocational education.

 

Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Human Services, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the University of Hawaii System, the Hawaii Women's Coalition, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and ten private citizens.

 

Your Committee finds that as poverty can affect a family for generations, so can success, and that the Bridge to Hope program is an important local model helping families transition from poverty to self-sufficiency through the attainment of higher education. However, recent changes to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work requirements have significantly limited the higher education activities that would enable recipient families to remain TANF-eligible, and threaten the success of this program. This measure would ensure the on-going success of the Bridge to Hope program by allowing single and two-parent households in the First-to-Work Program to continue to be eligible for assistance while pursuing baccalaureate degrees in addition to vocational education.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Incorporating oral comments made by the University of Hawaii by inserting "but not limited to" so that a participant in the First-to-Work program may pursue "an approved course of study including, but not limited to, vocational education; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services and Public Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2770, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2770, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services and Public Housing,

 

 

 

____________________________

SUZANNE CHUN OAKLAND, Chair