STAND. COM. REP. NO. 419
RE: S.B. No. 838
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. 838 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SERVICES FOR KUPUNA,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to improve the Kupuna Caregivers Program by providing additional work eligibility options for caregivers to support their loved ones, especially during the hardship placed on families during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging, Department of Human Services, AARP Hawai‘i, Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition, Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs, Alzheimer's Association, Faith Action for Community Equity, Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans, and nineteen individuals.
Your Committee finds that in 2017, the Legislature established the Kupuna Caregivers Program in the Executive Office on Aging to focus on working caregivers and provide assistance to enable them to remain in the workforce. Your Committee also finds that the hardships imposed on families during the COVID-19 pandemic require some flexibility in the Kupuna Caregivers Program. Further, your Committee finds that work eligibility requirements and service options of the Kupuna Caregivers Program must be adjusted. Accordingly, your Committee finds that the change to the work eligibility requirement during a governor-proclaimed state of emergency would allow working caregivers whose work hours have been reduced to less than thirty hours per week to continue to receive needed caregiving support in times of uncertainty, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, your Committee finds that the addition of Kupuna Caregiver-Directed services as an option in the Kupuna Caregivers program would allow the participants to direct their services and to address their needs with a monthly-budgeted dollar amount, instead of receiving services through a contracted provider.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting language that would have given the Executive Office on Aging the authority to eliminate the work hour requirement for a "qualified caregiver", as requested by the Office;
(2) Inserting an effective date of May 1, 2029, to encourage further discussion; 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 Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 838, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 838, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair