STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1259
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 Human Services, 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 financially assist individuals 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) The illness or disability of an immediate family member; or
(C) The individual's need to accompany a spouse in a job relocation and for whom commuting is not viable.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs supported this bill.
Hawaii, like the rest of the nation, is currently facing one of the worst economic climates in its history. Not only is the State required to make difficult choices between equally vital and necessary programs and services, but individuals are increasingly limited in their employment options, often turning to part-time employment to earn income. Your Committee finds that by allowing individuals who work part-time to be eligible for unemployment benefits, they will be more able to meet their financial obligations until such time that full-time employment becomes a viable option.
Your Committee notes that while DLIR has applied law consistent with this measure by policy and practice, this bill will codify and affirm that policy in conformance with provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, thereby allowing the State to access greatly needed federal funds. The additional revenue will assist the State to continue to deliver services and benefits to ease the strain on Hawaii's families.
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 S.B. No. 1568, S.D. 2, and recommends that it be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOHN M. MIZUNO, Chair