STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1545

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    H.B. No. 782

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 782, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE CYTOMEGALOVIRUS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to prevent public health problems caused by the cytomegalovirus.

 

     Specifically, the measure:

 

     (1)  Requires the Department of Health to establish a public education program to inform and educate pregnant women and women who may become pregnant about the cytomegalovirus;

 

     (2)  Requires physicians of newborn infants identified as or suspected of having a hearing impairment to ensure testing of the newborn infant for the cytomegalovirus and to provide the parents of the newborn infant with information regarding cytomegalovirus;

 

     (3)  Requires the Department of Health to convene a working group comprising various stakeholders to participate in the development of the public education program; and

 

     (4)  Appropriates funds to implement the public education program.

 

     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from one hundred fourteen individuals.  Written comments in opposition were received from the Department of Health, Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Hawaii Pacific Health.

 

     Your Committee finds that in the United States, more than five thousand children suffer permanent disabilities caused by congenital cytomegalovirus infection each year.  The disease often results in deafness or loss of vision in children and may cause other serious physical disabilities as well.

 

     Based on testimony received from both the Department of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics - Hawaii Chapter, your Committee believes that convening a working group that includes knowledgeable stakeholders to develop a public education campaign to inform and educate health care providers, pregnant women, and women who may become pregnant is the appropriate first step in raising awareness and prevention of this serious birth defect.

 

     Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

     (1)  Deleting the findings and purpose section;

 

     (2)  Deleting the requirement that the Department of Health establish a cytomegalovirus public education program;

 

     (3)  Deleting the requirement that physicians of newborn infants identified as or suspected of having a hearing impairment ensure testing of the newborn infant for the cytomegalovirus and provide the parents of the newborn infant with information regarding the cytomegalovirus;

 

     (4)  Re-designating the appropriation to support the working group established by the measure, rather than the Department of Health public education program; and

 

     (5)  Making technical nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 782, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 782, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,

 

 

 

________________________________

JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair