STAND. COM. REP. NO. 110
RE: S.B. No. 1025
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 1025 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE KUPUNA CAREGIVERS PROGRAM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Change the kupuna caregivers program allocation cap from $70 per day to $350 per week; and
(2) Appropriate funds for the continued implementation of the kupuna caregivers program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women; Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs; Maui County Office on Aging; Hawaii County Advisory Committee on Aging; Alzheimer's Association, Aloha Chapter; Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition; Hawaii Women's Coalition; Faith Action for Community Equity; AARP; Hawaii Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association; Kokua Council; Midwives Alliance of Hawaii; Mental Health America of Hawai‘i; Hawaii Island Adult Care, Inc.; Manoa Cottage; Sakura House Adult Day Care; Hale Hau‘oli Hawai‘i; Chinatown Gateway Plaza Tenant Association; Church of the Crossroads; Live Well at Iwilei; Caring Across Generations; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 142; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice; and forty-eight individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Executive Office on Aging.
Your Committee finds that the cost of professional caregiving continues to rise, with family members often struggling to care for a loved one, while remaining fully employed. In response to this issue, in 2017 the Legislature established the groundbreaking kupuna caregivers program, which aims to provide working caregivers with additional resources to cover a variety of support services such as adult day care, assisted transportation, and homemaker services. The kupuna caregivers program is a prevention program, designed to assist families before a crisis. This measure continues the funding for the kupuna caregivers program to address the financial needs of family members who must miss work and income to take care of their elders. Family caregivers are performing both a family service and a social service, by relieving the State of the burden and cost of elder care. Your Committee finds that the efforts of these caregivers should not be made at the expense of their own loss of financial stability, which puts caregivers at risk of financial insecurity in the future.
Your Committee notes that consistent funding for the kupuna caregivers program is critical, as the program is a crucial way to provide a safety net for Hawaii's caregivers and invest in the State's paid care workforce. Accordingly, your Committee respectfully requests that your Committee on Ways and Means include the appropriation for the kupuna caregivers program in the budget as a recurring cost item.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1025 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair