STAND. COM. REP. NO. 79

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    S.B. No. 1107

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committee on Human Services and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 1107 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT MAKING AN EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate $2,514,822 in general funds as an emergency appropriation to the Department of Human Services for general assistance payments to address the budget shortfall for the general support of the general assistance program.

 

     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, PHOCUSED, and Bridge to Hope.

 

     Your Committee finds that a critical funding emergency exists that threatens the general assistance program, which provides cash benefits for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials to approximately 5,752 adults who are temporarily disabled and do not qualify for federal benefits through the Social Security Administration.  The program will expend all appropriated funds before the end of the current fiscal year and will then be unable to maintain the current monthly benefit, which is already barely enough to cover living expenses for eligible individuals.  Your Committee further finds that the general assistance program is a block grant, and the Department of Human Services is unable to cover the current shortfall with funding from other programs.

 

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services and Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1107 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services and Housing,

 

 

 

____________________________

SUZANNE CHUN OAKLAND, Chair