Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2334

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2334 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for one full-time equivalent position within the Department of Health to implement a systematic vision and hearing program and other operating expenses of the program.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Primary Care Association, Hawaii Optometric Association, Project Vision Hawaii, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, and five individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Department of Education.


     Your Committee finds that vision and hearing are critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning, especially during early childhood.  To ensure the health of the children of Hawaii, the Legislature enacted Act 312, Session Laws of Hawaii 1992, which established a systematic hearing and vision program for children to detect and identify hearing and vision deficiencies in school children and recommend to parents or guardians the need for appropriate evaluation.  The Department of Health successfully implemented the program, but a lack of funding for the program caused the program to become and remain inactive for quite some time.


     Your Committee further finds that while there are some isolated community screening programs offered by local nonprofits in some areas of the State, not all children have access to these screenings, which inhibits accurate statewide data collection and assurance for the quality of the screening.


     To assist the Committee on Ways and Means with its deliberation on this measure, your Committee notes that the Department of Health indicated that the one full-time equivalent position to implement the systematic vision and hearing program proposed by this measure would require an appropriation of $80,000.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2334, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2334, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,