STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1477
RE: S.C.R. No. 140
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 140 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,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent 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, University of Hawai‘i System, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Community Alliance on Prisons, YWCA O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Children's Action Network Speaks!, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i, and nine individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Common Cause Hawaii and one individual.
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.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that state departments and agencies and the counties are included in the requested actions to address racism as a public health crisis;
(2) Requesting the Director of Health and the Director of Human Services to identify communities with the largest number of ALICE households, summarize activities conducted by the Department of Health and Department of Human Services to provide health care services in these communities, develop a plan to reduce the number of ALICE households, and transmit a report of their findings and recommendations to the Legislature;
(3) Amending its title in accordance with its amended purpose;
(4) Providing for certified copies to be sent to the Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Executive Director of Aloha United Way, and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii Care Association; and
(5) 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 Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 140, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 140, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair