STAND. COM. REP. NO. 441
RE: H.B. No. 1098
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2009
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 1098 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO GENERAL ASSISTANCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to provide the maximum amount of assistance to people in recovery or transition periods in a fiscally responsible manner by placing a 12-month limit on general assistance to households without minor dependents, and to stipulate that assistance received pending an eligibility determination for the federal Supplemental Security Income Program or successor program is not counted toward the 12-month limit.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) testified in support of this bill. The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (LASH), National Association of Social Workers and a concerned individual supported this measure with amendments. Several concerned individuals testified in opposition to this bill.
Your Committee emphasizes that DHS, LASH, and members of the Financial Assistance Advisory Committee have agreed to work together on this issue to craft language for proposed legislation that takes into account both the needs of those receiving assistance and the fiscal responsibilities of the State.
Upon reflection, your Committee has amended this bill by:
(1) Extending the time limit from 12 months to 24 months;
(2) Retaining the annual reevaluation to maintain disability certification;
(3) Requiring DHS to refer an individual for eligibility under the Aged, Blind, and Permanently and Totally Disabled Program after 12 months or upon turning 65; and
(4) Adding provisions that convert General Assistance into an entitlement program.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1098, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1098, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOHN M. MIZUNO, Chair