STAND. COM. REP. NO. 578-20
RE: H.B. No. 2707
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Lower & Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2707, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to establish a Behavioral Health Social Worker Scholarship Program to be administered by the University of Hawaii.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Public Safety, Department of Health, Catholic Charities Hawaii, Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Democratic Party of Hawaii, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Department of Human Services, and University of Hawaii System.
Your Committee finds that increasing the number of social workers in Hawaii is necessary to address the prevalence of individuals requiring mental health services in the State. This measure addresses the need for well-trained social workers who can respond to the behavioral health needs of individuals, many of whom experience homelessness.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that students participating in the Behavioral Health Social Worker Scholarship Program are required to complete five years of service with any, rather than all, of the following: the Department of Human Services; Department of Health; Department of Public Safety; Judiciary; or contracted service providers for services in the areas of psychiatric and mental health, or other behavioral health social work; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Lower & Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2707, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2707, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Lower & Higher Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair