STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3010
RE: H.B. No. 2501
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2501, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROMISE PROGRAM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish and appropriate funds for the University of Hawai‘i community college promise program to provide scholarships for the unmet direct cost needs of qualified students enrolled at any community college campus of the University of Hawai‘i System.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System, Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.
Your Committee finds that an educated labor force and engaged citizenry are essential in today's global, knowledge-based economy. Across the nation, states have set ambitious goals to boost college completion rates. The University of Hawaii's graduation initiative is a systemwide strategic initiative endorsed by the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents with a goal to increase the educational capital of the State by increasing participation in, and completion of, college by students, particularly Native Hawaiians, low-income students, and those from underserved regions and populations, and preparing them for success in the workforce and their communities.
Your Committee further finds that despite Hawaii's overall high affordability ranking, attending college is a large expense for families earning less than $30,000 annually and, historically, the State provides minimal need‑based aid to students attending public institutions. However, monies allocated for the University of Hawaii's community college promise program in the 2017 state budget helped provide scholarship opportunities to one thousand community college students. This success demonstrates that the permanent establishment of the program is warranted at the community college level.
Your Committee has amended this measure by 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. 2501, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2501, 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,
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair