STAND. COM. REP. NO. 418
RE: S.B. No. 597
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 597 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to help defray the expensive costs of a political candidate's dependent family care and child care, by allowing candidates seeking election to use campaign funds, in limited circumstances, for child care costs.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Common Cause Hawaii, AAUW of Hawaii, and eight individuals.
Your Committee finds that parenthood and care for one's dependents should not be a barrier to political office. One solution to this unnecessary obstacle is to allow candidates for elected office to use campaign funds to defray the expensive costs of a candidate's child care or dependent family care. Your Committee also finds that a growing number of candidates and good governance organizations are pushing state legislatures and elections commission to adopt similar proposals because it would encourage more women and low-income candidates to run for public office by clearing a restrictive financial barrier for parents and caregivers. Accordingly, your Committee finds that this measure will reduce that cost barrier by allowing candidates more flexibility in how they use campaign funds.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Expanding the covered family care costs to include the care of a candidate's vital household dependents, such as family members living in the candidate's household who are physically or mentally incapable of self-care; and
(2) Inserting an effective date of May 1, 2029, to encourage further discussion.
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. 597, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 597, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair