Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:     H.B. No. 1647

        H.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Human Services and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 1647, H.D. 2, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Department of Human Services to:


     (1)  Compile data regarding employers in the State who employ individuals receiving public assistance; and


     (2)  Submit an annual report to the Legislature identifying the fifty employers with the highest number of employees who receive public assistance.


     Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Department of Human Services.


     Your Committees find that public assistance programs are essential to ensuring that all residents have access to healthy food, quality health insurance, basic needs, cash assistance, and child care.  Your Committees further find that certain employers provide workers with low wages and poor benefits with the intention or expectation that their employees will enroll in public assistance to supplement their income.  However, this practice costs taxpayers billions of dollars per year and puts responsible businesses at a competitive disadvantage.  This measure will provide the Legislature a deeper understanding of how various public assistance programs impact individuals and their families.


     Your Committees also recognize that the various public benefits and services offered by the Department of Human Services, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid services, and child care subsidy programs, have direct implications to the health and well-being of individuals and families who receive benefits and services, such as purchasing healthy food to prevent chronic diseases and obtaining health insurance to receive mental health services.  Given the importance of these programs, your Committees find that a better understanding of the use of these programs will result in more prudent decisions to preserve and enhance this safety net.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Human Services and Labor that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1647, H.D. 2, and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Human Services and Labor,