STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3622

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2526

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 2526, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for the operating budget of the Department of Human Services for fiscal year 2020-2021.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force, Partners in Care, and Catholic Charities Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that this measure identifies additional items that were not included in the executive budget, H.B. No. 2200, H.D. 1, (Regular Session of 2020), and requests that this measure remain a vehicle for Department of Human Services' operating budget items, should they be deleted.

 

Your Committee notes that the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH) was tasked with implementing the State's first ten-year plan to end homelessness. HICH, in its report to the Legislature, provided an overview of available data related to homelessness, identified promising strategies to address homelessness, and made recommendations to sustain effective efforts, such as:

 

(1) Enhanced community capacity to review data related to homelessness and the effectiveness of homeless programs in real time;

 

(2) Continued efforts to strengthen the capacity of homeless service providers and government agencies tasked with overseeing homeless efforts; and

 

(3) Allowed time for promising programs to demonstrate results.

 

Additionally, your Committee finds that appropriations described in this measure are critical to building necessary community capacities to sustain a housing-focused approach to further reduce homelessness statewide.

 

Your Committee has heard the testimony of the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness expressing concerns that language in the measure, as drafted, requires the appropriation to pay for transportation services and may limit the State's ability to respond to unauthorized encampments on State lands.

 

Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting language suggested by the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness to further clarify the intent of this measure; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

Your Committee notes that although the appropriation amounts are blank, the Department of Human Services' testimony requests, for consideration by your Committee on Ways and Means, the following amounts to be included to support program continuity:

 

(1) (HMS224), $70,552, to raise the federal fund ceiling in order to increase the ability to draw down available federal match funds;

 

(2) (HMS301), $58,878, to establish an Assistant Section Administrator and a Social Service Assistant V position to support the East Hawaii child welfare services pilot project;

 

(3) (HMS903), $570,000, to increase the federal ceiling for homeless shelter after-care services;

 

(4) (HMS903), $1,330,000, to provide general support for self-sufficiency services to increase the federal ceiling for homeless shelter after-care services; and

 

(5) (HMS224), $350,000, for the state homeless database and maintenance.

 

Your Committee further notes that the effective date is December 31, 2059, to encourage further discussion.

 

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 H.B. No. 2526, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2526, H.D. 2, 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