Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 559

       S.D. 2




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 559, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to better serve the State's military service personnel and veterans and more effectively manage the State's relationship with the armed forces.


Specifically, this measure:


     (1)  Renames the Office of Veterans' Services as the Office of Military Affairs and Veterans' Services;


     (2)  Expands the duties of the office to include:


          (A)  Interacting and working with the armed services in the State to address any issues of concern;


          (B)  Collecting and maintaining information pertaining to the military's economic impact in the State;


          (C)  Serving as a liaison between the State's executive branch and the State's armed services; and


          (D)  Researching federal funding opportunities that relate to the military and veterans; and


     (3)  Makes an appropriation to fund the expanded duties of the office.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Defense, The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, and one individual.  Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee finds that the State's population of United States military service members and veterans is very sizeable and may continue to grow.  The military's positive impact on the State's economy is critical and is second only to tourism.  Military spending totals approximately $8,800,000,000 each year and generates approximately 102,000 local jobs.


Your Committee further finds that there should be a meaningful public discussion about whether to expand the duties of the Office of Veterans' Services to include military affairs or to instead delegate military affairs responsibilities to another state agency.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     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 S.B. No. 559, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 559, S.D. 2.


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