Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 607

       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 Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 607, H.D. 1, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to support the increasing elderly population in Hawaii and their caregivers by:


     (1)  Requiring the Executive Office on Aging to establish the Kupuna Caregivers Program to assist community members in obtaining care for elders while remaining in the workforce;


     (2)  Clarifying the kupuna services and supports provided by Area Agencies on Aging within the Kupuna Care Program and making establishment of the Kupuna Care Program mandatory; and


     (3)  Appropriating funds for the establishment and implementation of the Kupuna Caregivers Program.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Executive Office on Aging; Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii State Democratic Women's Caucus; Maui County Office on Aging; International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 Hawaii; Mental Health America of Hawaii; Alzheimer's Association, Aloha Chapter; American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Hawaii Section; Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice; Caring Across Generations; Healthcare Association of Hawaii; Hawaii Pacific Health; Faith Action for Community Equity; Lanakila Pacific; and seventeen individuals.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from Catholic Charities Hawaii.


     Your Committees find that Hawaii's aging population continues to grow, and along with it the need for long-term services and supports becomes more critical.  The State's population of individuals age sixty-five and older is projected to rise to 19.4 percent of the population by 2020 and 23 percent of the population by 2030.


     Your Committees further find that family caregivers play a vital role in the State's healthcare system by providing long-term care to kupuna so that kupuna can age at home instead of in a long-term care facility, which is often more costly.  Your Committees additionally find that it is common for children to return home to care for their aging parents and abandon careers in the process.  Hawaii's family caregivers are invaluable, yet they are at risk for mental health issues due to the burden that caregiving places on families.  Your Committees note that government agencies, community organizations, and the public are all in strong agreement that family caregivers need support and respite in order to continue the critical role they play in helping others and the State by caring for Hawaii's seniors.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Adding language to the purpose section to indicate that the intent of the Legislature is for the Kupuna Caregivers Program to be established regardless of the availability of state funding so that area agencies on aging are able to take advantage of other monies that may be accessible;


     (2)  Combining the definitions from the Kupuna Care Program section and the Kupuna Caregivers Program section of the Hawaii Revised Statutes into a stand-alone definition section for clarity and consistency;


     (3)  Amending the definition of the term "attendant care" by including certain verbal prompts and deleting language that specifically excluded guiding a participant's limbs or implements to assist with feeding or dressing;


     (4)  Deleting from the definition of the term "respite care" a reference to the Older Americans Act as well as summer camps for grandparents caring for children;


     (5)  Replacing references to the term "voucher" with the phrase "allocation of funds" or "allocated funds";


     (6)  Retaining the mandatory establishment of the Kupuna Caregivers Program, regardless of the availability of state funding, but making the award of allocations of funds under the Kupuna Caregivers Program subject to the availability of funding;


     (7)  Adding assisted transportation to the list of services covered by the Kupuna Caregivers Program;


     (8)  Replacing references to the terms "participant", "individual", and "qualified individual" with "care recipient";


     (9)  Making the establishment of rules by the Director of Health for the Kupuna Care Program discretionary rather than mandatory;


    (10)  Inserting a provision to indicate that until rules pertaining to the Kupuna Caregivers Program are adopted by the Director of Health, should the Director of Health choose to do so, the existing rules pertaining to the Kupuna Care Program may be used as guidance for the Kupuna Caregivers Program; and


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


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 607, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 607, 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 Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Human Services,