STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1653
RE: S.C.R. No. 140
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 140, S.D. 1, entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ASSERTING THAT RACISM IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS AND URGING THE STATE TO COMMIT TO RECOGNIZING AND ADDRESSING THE RESULTING INEQUITIES, AND STUDY AND REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE ON ECONOMIC DISPARITIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DETRIMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH EFFECTS OF RACISM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to assert that racism is a public health crisis and to urge the State to commit to recognizing and addressing the resulting inequities.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, American Heart Association, YWCA Oahu, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Aloha Aina Party, Democratic Party of Hawaii Education Caucus, Imua Alliance, Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, and seven individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Common Cause Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that racism is a social system with many dimensions that act on systemic, institutional, and interpersonal levels, and that structural racism has resulted in race functioning as a social determinant of health, with persistent racial disparities in areas such as health care, criminal justice, housing, education, employment, worker protections, climate, food access, and technology. Your Committee further finds that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted these disparities. Your Committee additionally finds that shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Aloha United Way issued a report on Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) households, finding that forty-two percent of Hawaii's 455,138 households struggle to make ends meet. Your Committee also finds that the disparities caused by systemic racism and the difficulties experienced by ALICE households are frequently linked.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 140, S.D. 1, and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,
MARK M. NAKASHIMA, Chair