STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1373
RE: H.B. No. 378
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 378, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FILIPINO VETERANS BURIAL ASSISTANCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a stable and dedicated funding source for repatriation and burial costs for Filipino-American World War II veterans by appropriating funds to the Office of Veterans Services for the provision of burial grants for Filipino-American World War II veterans; provided that:
(1) Federal funds remain unavailable;
(2) There remain eligible Filipino-American World War II veterans living in the State; and
(3) Funds appropriated and unencumbered as of June 30, 2021, shall not lapse to the credit of the general fund but shall remain available for the purposes of this measure.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Veterans Services, Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, Prince Kūhiō Hawaii Civic Club, University of Hawai‘i Pamantasan Council, Filipina Advocacy Network, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.
Your Committee finds that over one-quarter million Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers fought under the command of the United States during World War II. Many of these Filipino-American World War II veterans were promised full veterans benefits, including burial benefits, by the United States government that were not always honored. Through this measure, the State can honor Filipino-American World War II veterans in Hawaii.
Your Committee further finds that assisting Filipino-American veterans of World War II still living in the State with prospective funeral and burial costs, including the cost of returning their remains to the Philippines if they so desire, would demonstrate the State's appreciation and proper respect for their service.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Establishing the Filipino-American World War II veterans burial assistance special fund to provide a stable source of funding that does not lapse annually;
(2) Appropriating funds into and out of the Filipino-American World War II veterans burial assistance special fund for the purposes of this measure; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 378, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 378, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair