HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

580

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, a total of 113,317 service members and their dependents live in Hawaii. This represents approximately 8.2 per cent of Hawaii's population, according to the 2011 Census Bureau estimate. An economic report produced by The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii indicates that total spending by the armed services in Hawaii was $6,500,000,000 in 2009, which resulted in direct and indirect impacts exceeding $12,200,000,000 to Hawaii's economy, and accounted for more than one hundred one thousand jobs and a reported $3,500,000,000 in household earnings.

Thousands of military families move to Hawaii every year, and though Hawaii is part of the United States, the transition to settle in and find a home, enroll children in school, and care for and transport pets is significantly harder in Hawaii than relocating within the continental United States. On some levels, it is as complex as moving overseas to a foreign country. Military moves are trying on families and a financial cost to both the United States government and the family, especially when spousal employment is considered. Many of these issues can be addressed with a robust and universal information center. However, this would just be the first step of transitioning into a new place. Immersion and educational programs would strengthen the military relocation process. As the designated liaison for the state in matters relating to the military, the Military Affairs Council of The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii should also play a role in developing this transition center.

It is evident that military personnel and their family members play a vital role in Hawaii's economy and compose a significant percentage of its population. It would be in the best interest of Hawaii and the United States Department of Defense to ensure that armed service members not only have a seamless relocation and transition to Hawaii, but also have a way in which to integrate and connect into the community. No such pathway now exists. Currently, service branches located on Oahu retain their own informational and support channels for members relocating to Hawaii. This ad hoc system is disjointed and inefficient for the military members and their families.

The purpose of this Act is to create a center for transition, immersion, and education that will act as a stepping-stone for both military members and their families transitioning to Hawaii, and for Hawaii residents to better understand and engage with military members in the State. The center shall be jointly funded by the armed services and the State.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

-1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Department" means the state department of defense.

"Military member" means any member of the uniformed armed services of the United States.

-2 Center for transition, immersion, and education; military members and their families. (a) The department shall establish a center for transition, immersion, and education for military members and their families during their relocation to the State.

(b) Activities of the center relating to transition may include but not be limited to:

(1) Coordinating with the counties to facilitate the processing of motor vehicle registrations and safety checks on a military base;

(2) Disseminating up-to-date on-line information relating to:

(A) Pet quarantine and required vaccinations;

(B) Motor vehicle registration and safety checks; and

(C) Temporary child-care and baby-sitting services;

(3) Creating a referral service for child care professionals, home services, and health care; and

(4) Coordinating services with the department of education for the enrollment of children of military members.

(c) Activities of the center relating to immersion may include but not be limited to:

(1) Publishing a monthly magazine for military families that outlines local events, restaurants, and opportunities for military members and their families to become acquainted with the culture of the State;

(2) Hosting traditional cultural and military events;

(3) Promoting and facilitating partnerships between military units and civic organizations;

(4) Coordinating community-building events; and

(5) Establishing a mutual host family program between military families and local families.

(d) Activities of the center relating to education may include but not be limited to:

(1) Offering the following courses to military members and their families:

(A) Cultural immersion, Hawaiian history, and Hawaiian language; and

(B) The structure and functions of State and county levels of government;

(2) Offering courses to Hawaii residents to explain the role of the United States military in national security, and the geopolitical significance of Hawaii; and

(3) Sponsoring exchange and educational programs between local elected officials and military base commanders and their support staff.

-3 Center for transition, immersion, and education; special fund. (a) There shall be established in the state treasury, to be administered by the department, the center for transition, immersion, and education special fund. Revenues of the fund shall consist of:

(1) All fees received to operate the center;

(2) Appropriations made by the legislature to the fund;

(3) Matching funds received from the federal department of defense;

(4) Any interest that accrues upon the balance in the fund; and

(5) Any other revenues designated for the fund.

(b) Moneys in the fund shall be used for administering the center for transition, immersion, and education for military members and their families."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2013-2014 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for the creation of a center for transition, immersion, and education for military members and their families; provided that no funds shall be made available under this Act unless the federal Department of Defense provides matching funds for the purpose for which these sums are appropriated.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of defense for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


 


 

Report Title:

State Department of Defense; Military; Transition, Immersion, and Education Center; Appropriation

 

Description:

Creates a center for transition, immersion, and education for military members and their families during their relocation to Hawaii within the State Department of Defense. Appropriates funds. Effective July 1, 2050. (HB580 HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.