Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1294

       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 Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 1294 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a program within the University of Hawaii System to target the recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and first generation college students.


     Specifically, this measure:


(1)  Establishes the Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at the University of Hawaii;


(2)  Tasks the Academy with eliminating health disparities in Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and underserved communities and promoting educational pathways in the health sciences fields;


(3)  Requires a curriculum for high school teachers and a health sciences educational pathway for high school students;


(4)  Requires the Academy to establish course work to prepare students and their families for college level studies in the health sciences;


(5)  Establishes Native Hawaiian principles to guide the Academy; and


(6)  Appropriates funds and establishes positions for the Academy.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System; the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force; Ho'omana Pono, LLC; University of Hawaii West Oahu Allied Health Faculty; Kamehameha Schools; and nineteen individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee finds that Native Hawaiians are less likely to attend college than other ethnic groups due, in part, to low levels of high school preparation and inadequate finances.  Your Committee further finds that the medical field is experiencing a health care worker shortage.  Your Committee believes that establishing a program to encourage Native Hawaiians and other individuals to attend college and earn a degree in a health sciences field will help alleviate the shortage of health care workers and provide quality, well-paid jobs.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)    Changing the amount appropriated for fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, respectively, from $2,080,404 to an unspecified amount;


(2)    Changing the number of positions authorized from twenty to an unspecified number; and


(3)    Changing the effective date to March 9, 2092, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


Your Committee acknowledges concerns that the contents of the measure potentially extend beyond the scope of its title, in violation of Article III, section 14, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.  Your Committee requests that subsequent committees hearing this measure address this issue.


     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 S.B. No. 1294, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1294, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,