STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1196
RE: H.B. No. 961
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 961, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MILITARY DEPENDENTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Exempt dependents of military servicemembers from state residency requirements for government employment if the military servicemember is in Hawaii on bona fide military orders; and
(2) Allow a spouse of an active duty servicemember in the military who accompanies the servicemember to a permanent change of station in the State and holds a current, unencumbered license in another jurisdiction in specific professions to apply for Hawaii licensure on an expedited basis.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Department of Human Resources Development, Department of Defense, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments from the United States Department of Defense.
Your Committee finds that recruiting and retaining highly qualified applicants and reducing the number of vacancies for positions across the State has been a challenge. The dependents or spouses of military servicemembers represent an untapped pool of potential applicants. However, under existing law, state employees must sign a declaration within thirty days of their employment start date affirming that they are a resident of the State of Hawaii. Given the nature of military service, it may be in the interests of civilian dependents of military servicemembers to maintain their residency in their "home" state for various reasons. This measure aligns state law with the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act to allow military spouses to declare the same state or legal residency as their spouse who is in the State on bona fide military orders and will streamline the licensing processes for active duty military spouses.
Your Committee notes that this measure, as currently drafted, contemplates approval for temporary licensure for a number of professions that may require additional and unique qualifications or other licensing requirements specific to Hawaii. Your Committee therefore finds that amendments to this measure are necessary to safeguard public health, safety, and welfare.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting accountants, architects, athlete agents, athletic trainers, engineers, and real estate appraisers from the list of licensees entitled to temporary licensure in the State;
(2) Inserting an effective date of January 1, 2022; and
(3) 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 Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 961, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 961, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair