STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3181

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2012

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to allocate transient accommodations tax revenue to implement initiatives, in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas and require matching funds from the private sector.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, IMUAliiance, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, and one individual. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

 

Your Committees find that homelessness remains one of the most pressing issues of the State. While your Committees acknowledge that the number of homeless persons decreased nine percent from 2016 to 2017, your Committees believe there is still much that needs to be done to create a better living environment for everyone. The tourism industry is one of the economic drivers of the State and has the necessary resources to support the effort to reduce homelessness across the State. Your Committees believe that tourist and resort areas, such as Waikiki, see some of the largest homeless populations. Your Committees find that a portion of the homeless community in Waikiki, and throughout the State, is represented by those under the age of eighteen. Your Committees note that most shelters are not allowed to take in minors without prior consent of their parent or guardian. This prohibition may deprive minors who have abusive households of a safe environment and may be one cause of the number of minors who congregate in areas like Waikiki. Your Committees find that there is a need to examine the gaps in services available to homeless youth and provide them with the same access and quality of care that is provided to the adult homeless community.

 

Your Committees believe that addressing tourist and resort areas that are affected by homelessness will not only assist the homeless community by providing them with improved living situations, but will simultaneously improve areas that are frequently visited by tourists, thereby improving the overall quality of state infrastructure and natural resources and perception by visitors.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) As suggested by the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness:

 

(A) Allowing each county to designate a tourist and resort area in the respective county;

 

(B) Requiring that the funds allocated to the Hawaii Tourism Authority to implement initiatives be used for the purpose of providing social services; and

 

(C) Requiring that the data collected from the initiatives to address homelessness in tourist and resorts areas and included within the Hawaii Tourism Authority's report to the Legislature be entered into the Homeless Management Information System to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives in addressing homelessness; and

 

(2) 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 Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Human Services,

 

________________________________

JOSH GREEN, Chair

 

________________________________

GLENN WAKAI, Chair