Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 1276

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 1276, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to encourage the pursuit of postsecondary education by providing an additional state income tax deduction for student loan interest paid on qualified educational loans.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and Graduate Student Organization at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.


     Your Committee finds that the costs associated with postsecondary education often force students to go into debt.  Student debt has increasingly become a burden on individuals and families, and sometimes deters talented individuals from seeking desired education.  Your Committee further finds that professions such as teaching that do not offer high compensation suffer from shortages of qualified individuals, and reducing student debt costs could help incentive individuals to pursue these professions.  This measure will encourage Hawaii residents to not let the idea of financing a postsecondary education deter them from pursuing a postsecondary education.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Inserting a maximum allowable deduction from gross income of $5,000 for the state income tax deduction for student loan interest paid on qualified education loans;


     (2)  Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2017; and


     (3)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1276, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1276, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Higher Education,