STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3813
RE: H.C.R. No. 108
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred H.C.R. No. 108, H.D. 1, entitled:
"HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE STATE TO ADDRESS THE LACK OF LANGUAGE SUPPORT IN SERVICES, PROGRAMS, AND ACTIVITIES OFFERED BY STATE GOVERNMENT FOR PERSONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the State to address the lack of language support for persons with limited English proficiency in services, programs, and activities offered by state government.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Language Access, Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Filipina Advocacy Network, Volunteer Legal Services Hawai‘i, Filipino American Citizens League, American Immigration Council, and four individuals.
Your Committee finds that for persons with limited English proficiency, language can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding information. Your Committee also finds that Hawaii is home to a large number of persons with limited English proficiency who do not speak English as their primary language and self-identify as having a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English. Therefore, your Committee finds that the State should prioritize ensuring meaningful access to services, programs, and activities for all persons in the State. Moreover, your Committee finds that the State should promote the hiring of bilingual and multilingual persons in the State's workforce, expand the functional and active use of languages commonly spoken in the State by persons in the workforce, recognize language skills as critical workforce skills that are essential to the State, and promote workplace training, public service campaigns, and educational programs that address bias and discrimination with respect to using languages other than English. Further, your Committee finds that the State should promote study of languages other than English and an environment of aloha where the use of languages other than English in public settings is welcomed and valued.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of H.C.R. No. 108, H.D. 1, and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair