STAND. COM. REP. NO. 614
RE: H.B. No. 1281
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness, to which was referred H.B. No. 1281 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to:
(1) Transfer the duties, functions, and powers relating to emergency medical services for the City and County of Honolulu from the Department of Health to the City and County of Honolulu;
(2) Appropriate general funds to the City and County of Honolulu for emergency medical services for Fiscal Year 2021-2022; and
(3) Appropriate half of the monies in the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund to the City and County of Honolulu for emergency medical services for Fiscal Years 2021‑2022 and 2022-2023.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu and Hawaii Medical Service Association.
Your Committee finds that under the current emergency medical services system, most costs are negotiated by the counties and paid by the State, resulting in a statewide operating cost of over $100,000,000. Your Committee further finds that moving to a shared cost system and transferring many of the duties and responsibilities of operating an emergency medical services system to the City and County of Honolulu, as proposed by this measure, would reduce the State's financial burden while also providing the county with greater flexibility to deploy its own emergency medical services resources that will complement existing county‑based services such as police and fire departments.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the Department of Health is responsible for administering and maintaining a communication system only within the areas of the State not covered by a county emergency medical services system;
(2) Clarifying that the Department of Health is responsible for establishing standards and training dispatchers within the areas of the State not covered by a county emergency medical services system;
(3) Clarifying that counties operating a county emergency medical service system are responsible for the purchase, maintenance, and servicing of all ambulance vehicles, equipment, supplies, and communication systems;
(4) Clarifying that the transfer of rights, powers, functions, and duties for the operation of and emergency medical services system the City and County of Honolulu shall occur over a four-year period, beginning with the transfer of all training and billing for emergency services on July 1, 2021;
(5) Establishing a graduated timeline for reductions in state funding over the four-year transition period;
(6) Appropriating an unspecified amount of general funds to the City and County of Honolulu for emergency medical services for Fiscal Year 2022-2023;
(7) Clarifying that the appropriation out of the Emergency Services Special Fund for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 is for the purpose of transferring half the monies in the special fund to the general fund;
(8) Prohibiting funds from the Emergency Services Special Fund to be used for the operation of an emergency medical service system in the City and County of Honolulu; and
(9) 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 Health, Human Services, & Homelessness that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1281, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1281, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness,
RYAN I. YAMANE, Chair