STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3543
RE: H.B. No. 2161
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2161, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISABILITY COMPENSATION DIVISION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to address the staffing shortage in the Disability Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Specifically, this measure appropriates $355,526 for the following six full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the Disability Compensation Division:
(1) One professional employer organization specialist;
(2) One vocational rehabilitation specialist;
(3) One disability compensation enforcement specialist assigned to Kauai;
(4) One disability compensation enforcement specialist assigned to Kona on the island of Hawaii;
(5) One auditor; and
(6) One hearings officer assigned to Kona on the island of Hawaii.
The appropriation also includes funds to provide the officers with legal and medical training.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Department of Human Resources Development, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, ILWU Local 142, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that the Disability Compensation Division has been understaffed for many years. Your Committee believes that the additional staff and funds appropriated by this measure will help to alleviate the hearings backlog, provide for accelerated recovery by injured workers, and increase enforcement of workers' compensation laws.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the amount appropriated from $355,526 to an unspecified amount; and
(2) Changing the number of positions authorized from six to an unspecified amount,
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 H.B. No. 2161, 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. 2161, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair