STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1555
RE: H.B. No. 844
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 844, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO YOUTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish safe places that offer shelter, programs, and support to at-risk youth under the age of eighteen.
Specifically, the measure:
(1) Requires the Office of Youth Services, in partnership with private organizations, to coordinate a two-year Safe Places for Youth pilot program through which youth can access a network of safe places and obtain advice, guidance, programs, and services; and
(2) Appropriates funds for a Safe Places for Youth pilot program coordinator position and residential options for the pilot program.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii Youth Services Network, The CHOW Project, and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that youth homelessness is a serious and prevalent issue in the State, and that the pilot program established by this measure, like other "Safe Place" initiatives throughout the country, aims to provide outreach and prevention services to young people in need of immediate help and safety.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Office of Youth Services to report to the Legislature on its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, no later than twenty days before the start of the 2019 Regular Session; and
(2) Correcting the reference to the "National Runaway Switchboard" to instead reference the "National Runaway Safeline."
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. 844, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 844, H.D. 1, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair