H.B. NO.














Relating to Employment.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that, according to the 2016 Hawaii statewide point in time count, the total number of unsheltered individuals and families in the State increased by twelve per cent between 2015 and 2016.  This increase has occurred despite the additional attention and resources offered by the State to mitigate the issue of homelessness.

     The legislature further finds that a number of jurisdictions across the United States have introduced programs to help homeless individuals find work.  For example, a program launched in Albuquerque, New Mexico offers homeless persons day jobs that pay wages higher than the state's minimum wage.  This program has proved to be successful, assisting over nine hundred individuals in less than a year.  Over one hundred persons participating in the program have also found permanent work.  In addition, a similar program modeled after the Albuquerque program was recently introduced in Tucson, Arizona.

     The purpose of this Act is to provide better assistance to the homeless population by creating a comprehensive employment and training program within the department of labor and industrial relations to assist unemployed individuals, including homeless persons, find jobs.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:




     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

     "Department" means the department of labor and industrial relations.

     "Director" means the director of labor and industrial relations.

     "Unemployed person" means a person who is without a job and is able, available, and seeking full-time employment.

     §   -2  Authority.  (a)  The director may create and administer a statewide, state-funded, subsidized public service employment program.  In carrying out the program, the director shall accord priority to individuals to be hired in the following order:

     (1)  Unemployed persons who have been unemployed for more than fifteen weeks, including those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits;

     (2)  All other unemployed persons who are unemployment insurance claimants, including those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits;

     (3)  All other unemployed persons, whether or not they are unemployment insurance claimants, who are certified by the director as recipients of state public assistance under chapter 346; and

     (4)  All other unemployed persons, whether or not they are unemployment insurance claimants.

     (b)  Persons employed in public service jobs under this chapter shall not be paid wages below the state minimum wage.

     (c)  Persons under subsection (b) shall not be considered state employees and shall not be subject to the laws relating to state employment benefits, including those regarding hours of work, rates of compensation, leave, unemployment compensation, and state employee benefits.

     (d)  For purposes of chapter 386, persons under subsection (b) shall be deemed employees of the State within the meaning of the term "employee" as defined in section 386-1, and the provisions of that chapter shall apply.

     §   -3  Relationship of program under this part to other state programs.  The program under this part shall be a state-funded program.  Accordingly, the director shall not be required to conform this program with that of other public service employment programs.

     The director, immediately upon enactment of this part, shall implement this part.  The director shall coordinate the activities under this part with any other state or county activities relating to public service employment, including but not limited to programs under chapters 202, 394, and 394B, section 346-71, and part V of chapter 346.

     §   -4  Rules.  The director shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this chapter.

     §   -5  Reports.  The director shall report annually to the legislature on the progress of implementing this chapter.


     §   -11  State subsidy for certain employers.  Any employer, whether or not operated for profit, who agrees to participate in an employment program to train and permanently hire unemployed persons, shall be entitled to a state subsidy in accordance with this part and any rules adopted thereunder.

     §   -12  Nature of subsidy.  The subsidy shall be to defray extra costs of providing employment and a program of training and support services.  The subsidy may be used for on-the-job training and counseling, job orientation, job-related education, instruction in English as a second language, medical and dental services, transportation expenses, a portion of wages, and other costs related to the employment.

     All subsidies shall be made directly to the employer by the director.  The amounts of the subsidies shall be determined by the director in accordance with guidelines adopted by the director, and all subsidies shall be incorporated into contracts entered into between the director and the participating employers.

     §   -13  Limitations.  No subsidy shall exceed $          for one permanent job position.  The maximum subsidy allowed to any one employer shall be $          or an amount not to exceed twenty-five per cent of any one employer's workforce, whichever is the lesser amount, except under exceptional circumstances as determined by the director.  The training subsidy for a given position shall not exceed twenty weeks.


     §   -21  State loans for certain private employers.  Any private employer, whether or not operated for profit, who agrees to participate in an employment program to train and permanently hire unemployed persons shall be eligible for a state low-interest loan for purposes described in this part.

     §   -22  Nature of loans.  The employer who qualifies shall be entitled to a loan of not more than $          for each unemployed person that the employer immediately hires; provided that the unemployed person shall be employed by the employer receiving the loan for at least one year or for the term of the loan, whichever is longer.

     The loan shall be for a term not to exceed five years, at the rate of          per cent interest per year, and shall be payable in equal monthly installments of principal and interest.

     The loan shall be for purposes directly related to the maintenance or expansion of the employer's business activity.

     Any provision to the contrary notwithstanding, the director shall have full authority and discretion to consider, approve, or disapprove any loan application and impose restrictions on any loan made pursuant to this part.  Under no circumstances shall any one employer be granted loans exceeding $          ."

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $          or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 to implement section 2 of this Act.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of labor and industrial relations for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.








Report Title:

Homelessness; Public Service Employment Program; Appropriation



Addresses the issue of homelessness by creating a statewide, state-funded, subsidized public service employment program.  Authorizes subsidies and low-interest loans for employers who participate in the program.  Makes an appropriation.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.