STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2853
RE: S.B. No. 2370
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts, to which was referred S.B. No. 2370 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO KALAUPAPA MONTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to designate January as "Kalaupapa Month" to serve as an annual reminder about the importance of Kalaupapa and the significant contributions made by its people throughout the history of Hawaii.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, Hawai‘i Conference of the United Church of Christ, IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity, Sisters of St. Francis, and fifteen individuals.
Your Committee finds that in 1865, Hawaii passed "An Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy", which required the isolation of leprosy patients. Accordingly, the State bought eight hundred acres of land on the Kalaupapa peninsula of Moloka‘i. On January 6, 1866, twelve citizens of Hawaii arrived at Kalaupapa, the first of an estimated eight thousand people who were taken from their families and forced into isolation.
Your Committee additionally finds that two key individuals who committed their lives to serving those affected by leprosy also share significant dates in the month of January, Jozef De Veuster born January 3, 1840, commonly known as Father Damien, and Barbara Koob, who eventually became known as Mother Marianne Cope, born January 23, 1838.
Your Committee further finds that the people of Kalaupapa today are viewed not only as valuable members of society, but as some of Hawaii's finest citizens who have overcome the most difficult of circumstances. Mercy Hutchison Bacon, great niece of Kalaupapa leader Ambrose Hutchison, called the people of Kalaupapa "the pride of a nation." Therefore, your Committee also finds that in recognition of the sacrifices of many individuals made during those difficult times and the legacy that endures as an important part of Hawaii's history, designation of the month January as "Kalaupapa Month" would be of great significance to the people of Hawaii.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2051, to encourage further discussion; 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 Labor, Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2370, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2370, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair