STAND. COM. REP. NO. 419-18

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2018

 

RE: H.B. No. 2021

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Health & Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 2021 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS WITH SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to address a gap in the need for services for homeless individuals with mental illness by:

 

(1) Requiring the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Department of Health, to establish a pilot project to operate a facility to provide shelter and mental health treatment for homeless individuals with severe mental illness who are subject to court-ordered involuntary hospitalization; and

 

(2) Appropriating funds to the Department of Human Services for the pilot project.

 

The Institute for Human Services, Hawaii Psychological Association, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Disability Rights Center, National Association of Social Workers-Hawaii, Hoomana Pono LLC, and two concerned individuals testified in support of this measure. The Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Department of the Attorney General, Office of Youth Services, Department of Human Services, and Adult Mental Health Division of the Department of Health provided comments.

 

While there is a general acknowledgment and understanding that there are gaps in services for mentally or severely mentally ill individuals who are homeless, your Committee notes the concerns raised by the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Office of Youth Services, and Institute for Human Services that this issue is very complex and that additional time and resources will be necessary to address this issue, including a review of successful models addressing this issue from across the country.

 

Your Committee also understands the concerns raised regarding the siting of this pilot project on land set aside for use by the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility through executive order and that placing specific restrictions on the use of that land for something other than a youth correctional facility may pose legal issues.

 

Finally, your Committee notes the concerns raised by the Attorney General that current Hawaii law requires persons subject to involuntary civil commitment be hospitalized in a psychiatric facility and that, by definition, the facility being considered for use for the pilot project does not appear to fit the criteria for a psychiatric facility.

 

Nevertheless, your Committee finds that this is an important issue that deserves further consideration and discussion and has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Deleting the specific requirement that an unused residential facility within the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility be used to provide shelter and mental health treatment services for the pilot project and instead simply requiring that a suitable unused state facility be used for the provision of these services;

 

(2) Changing its effective date to July 1, 3000, to facilitate further discussion; and

 

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.

 

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. 2021, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2021, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health & Human Services,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

JOHN M. MIZUNO, Chair