STAND. COM. REP. NO. 616

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 1296

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness and Higher Education & Technology, to which was referred H.B. No. 1296 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO STATE FUNDS,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to:

 

(1) Repeal the Tobacco Enforcement Special Fund, Hawaii Tobacco Settlement Special Fund, and Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund and transfer unencumbered balances of these funds to the general fund; and

 

(2) Appropriate general fund monies into the University Revenue-Undertakings Fund.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Smokers Alliance and nine individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of the Attorney General; Department of Health; Department of Budget and Finance; University of Hawaii System; John A. Burns School of Medicine; Lanai Community Health Center; Waikiki Health; After-School All-Stars Hawaii; Kapiolani Smokefree Families; University of Hawaii Student Health Advisory Council; Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition; Hawaii COPD Coalition; Hawaii Primary Care Association; Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii; Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children; Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Adventist Health Castle; Hawaii Community Foundation; Cancer Action Network; American Heart Association; American Lung Association; Bay Clinic, Inc.; Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services; Blue Zones Project; I Ola Lahui; numerous individuals; and a petition with eleven individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Tax Foundation of Hawaii.

 

Your Committees find that because of the severe economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the State must revisit and reconsider how programs are financed across the State. This measure will enable the State to address budget shortfalls by reallocating certain unencumbered money into the general fund, but will not preclude the State from using general funds on tobacco prevention programs.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness and Higher Education & Technology that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1296 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness and Higher Education & Technology,

 

 

____________________________

GREGG TAKAYAMA, Chair

 

____________________________

RYAN I. YAMANE, Chair