STAND. COM. REP. NO. 302
RE: S.B. No. 526
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 526 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN SERVICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Appropriate funds for the Department of Human Services to purchase, staff, and operate two mobile clinics to serve the homeless persons residing in ohana zones; and
(2) Require matching funds.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the County of Hawaii, Mayor's Office; Hawaii Disability Rights Center; Hawai‘i Psychological Association; Project Vision Hawai‘i; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Department of Human Services, and Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that homeless persons face a wide range of issues, including general health issues, mental illness, and substance abuse. These issues also impact the general population through the costs of social and health care services.
Your Committee further finds that mobile clinics are increasing in popularity across the nation as governments try to find ways to address the health care needs of the homeless population. In places such as Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; and Seattle, Washington; mobile clinics offer a variety of free health care services for local homeless populations, resulting in significant cost savings when compared to emergency room visits.
Your Committee also finds that mobile clinics can be an effective method to reach some of the State's population with the most challenging access to care issues. This measure appropriates funds to the operation of two mobile clinics to service people in ohana zones, which will provide homeless people with access to treatment, improve the overall health of these individuals, and reduce the costs of health care.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language that would have restricted the mobile clinics to serving only individuals in ohana zones;
(2) Earmarking one mobile clinic to the county of Hawaii;
(3) Removing the specified recipients that would have received an appropriation;
(4) Requiring matching funds before funds appropriated shall be made available;
(5) Clarifying that the acquisition of the medical clinic services be subject to the requirements of the state Procurement Code; and
(4) 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 Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 526, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 526, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair