STAND. COM. REP. NO. 561

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 639

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 639 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO KUPUNA CARE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to specify that:

 

(1) Ten percent of the monies in the Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund shall be allocated to and expended by the Department of Health for purposes of the kupuna care program and the kupuna caregivers program; and

 

(2) The deposit of tobacco settlement monies shall not supplant the base budget of the Executive Office on Aging.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition; United Public Workers, AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO; ILWU Local 142; Catholic Charities Hawaii; and Caring Across Generations. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and Executive Office on Aging.

 

Your Committee finds that Hawaii's aging population motivated the Legislature to pass the landmark kupuna caregivers program in 2017 to support qualified caregivers by providing up to $70 per day to cover the cost of adult care, chore services, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, personal care, respite, or transportation. Furthermore, the kupuna caregivers program provides needed respite for caregivers who are caring for their loved ones while also holding down their own employment.

 

Your Committee further finds that as a result of its arbitration settlement with the tobacco industry, the State received monies from tobacco companies, which are deposited into the Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund. Many of today's kupuna were likely to have been smokers in the past and may be suffering from smoking-related diseases, resulting in the need for caregivers in the State. This measure provides additional resources for the kupuna caregivers program to allow caregivers who are juggling their own employment with their caregiving responsibilities to simultaneously take care of their kupuna and themselves. Your Committee further notes that the intent of this measure is to preserve the allocation percentage that is appropriated into the university revenue-undertakings fund for the University of Hawaii and instead reduce the allocation to the general fund.

 

Your Committee notes that according to testimony from the Executive Office on Aging, the Governor's biennium base budget request includes a total of $9,000,000 for the kupuna care program and $1,200,000 for kupuna caregivers. The Executive Office on Aging supports this request, as these funds are necessary to continue the valuable services provided by the kupuna care and kupuna caregivers programs.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Including the following amendments suggested by the Department of the Attorney General:

 

(A) Clarifying that ten percent of the monies in the Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund shall be appropriated to the Executive Office on Aging for the purposes of the kupuna care program and kupuna caregivers program; and

 

(B) Deleting the provision to prohibit supplanting of the base budget of the Executive Office on Aging; and

 

(2) 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 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. 639, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 639, S.D. 1, 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