STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2806
RE: S.B. No. 2344
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 2344 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MINORS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to expand conditions for a minor to consent to no-cost emergency shelter and related services to include a minimum age of sixteen years and certain requirements by a shelter.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women; LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Pride At Work - Hawai‘i; Partners in Care; Hawaii Youth Services Network; Residential Youth Services and Empowerment Hawaii; Hawaii Helping Our People Envision Success, Maui; Rainbow Family 808; and ten individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that addressing the needs and concerns of unaccompanied homeless youth is a statewide challenge. Your Committees further find that addressing youth homelessness requires a multi-faceted approach, and outreach and shelter are critical components to assisting this underserved population.
Your Committee finds there is only one full service shelter in the State for homeless unaccompanied minors. Residential Youth Services and Empowerment provides shelter for disenfranchised youth aged eighteen to twenty-four. There is no facility designated to serve the needs of unaccompanied homeless minors.
However, your Committee has heard the concerns of the Department of Human Services that this measure as drafted would not accomplish the goal of providing shelter and housing options to minors under eighteen years of age, would exclude organizations that are not tax exempt, and the proposed language: "Shall contact child welfare services within three days of housing the minor" may have the unintended effect of inhibiting at-risk-youth from seeking services.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language as suggested by the Department of Human Resources; and
(2) Adding proposed language suggested by the LGBT Caucus to require a full service shelter on all islands.
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. 2344, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2344, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair