STAND. COM. REP. NO. 646-18
RE: H.B. No. 2012
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health & Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to allocate funds from transient accommodations tax revenues to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) to implement initiatives, in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA), to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas and to report to the Legislature.
IMUAlliance, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, Hawai‘i Advocates for Consumer Rights, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, Zonta Club of Hilo, and a few individuals provided testimony in support of this measure. The Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Tax Foundation of Hawaii provided comments.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the $2,000,000 allocated to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to an unspecified amount; and
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 3000, to encourage further discussion.
Your Committee received testimony on this measure from HLTA. Your Committee notes the following from that testimony:
(1) HLTA is in support of this measure and especially supportive of language that requires HTA to work with HLTA in the implementation of initiatives to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas throughout the State;
(2) The hospitality industry has donated over $2,000,000 in the last four years to the Institute for Human Services and other social service agencies to address homelessness;
(3) The Institute for Human Services and other neighbor island service providers have helped 491 persons experiencing homelessness return home through a repatriation program that reestablishes contact with friends and family for those from the mainland and sends them back to their family;
(4) The Institute for Human Services' repatriation program has served 424 people with less than one percent of program participants returning to homelessness in Hawaii; and
(5) A February 8, 2018, Honolulu Star-Advertiser opinion editorial explained that the repatriation program has successfully helped people experiencing homelessness on Oahu, Kauai, and Maui reconnect with family or friends in other states and the program has a number of safeguards against waste including requiring the individual to sign a letter stating that the individual will not return to Hawaii, requiring family or friends to bear half of the costs of travel, and careful screening of and follow up with those who utilize the repatriation program.
Your Committee expressed concerns that the causes and conditions of homelessness are different on each island and therefore, each island will require a different set of solutions.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health & Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2012, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health & Human Services,
JOHN M. MIZUNO, Chair