STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1063
RE: S.B. No. 1568
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2009
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor & Public Employment, to which was referred S.B. No. 1568, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to assist individuals who need financial assistance during difficult economic times by extending unemployment insurance benefits to:
(1) An individual for whom a majority of the weeks of work in the individual's base period includes part-time work and who is seeking only part-time work; and
(2) An individual who is separated from employment for a compelling family reason, including:
(A) Domestic violence;
(B) Illness or disability of a member of the individual's immediate family; or
(C) The need for the individual to accompany the individual's spouse because of a change in the location of the spouse's employment.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, ILWU Local 142, and Hawaii Government Employees Association testified in support of this bill. The National Federation of Independent Business in Hawaii opposed this measure.
Hawaii, as well as the rest of the nation, is currently facing the direst economic situation since World War II. As such, many individuals are limited in their employment options, often turning to part-time employment to earn income. However, this part-time income is generally not enough to provide adequate financial support, especially if the individual is supporting a family. Under current law, it would be difficult for part-time workers to receive any kind of unemployment assistance because of their part-time employment status. Your Committee finds that by allowing an individual who is working part-time to be eligible for unemployment benefits will assist these individuals in meeting their financial needs until such time that full-time employment becomes available.
Additionally, your Committee notes that other individuals who may not necessarily fall under the criteria established under current law may also be in need of unemployment assistance. These individuals include persons separated from employment through no fault of their own and include compelling family reasons such as situations involving domestic violence, a sudden family illness, or the sudden change of location of a spouse's job. Allowing these individuals to receive unemployment benefits will also help them meet their financial obligations.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor & Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1568, S.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Human Services.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor & Public Employment,
KARL RHOADS, Chair