STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1789

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: S.C.R. No. 215

S.D. 1

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Culture, Arts, & International Affairs, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 215, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY IN THE STATE OF HAWAII,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to recognize the contributions of the Compact of Free Association community in the State of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Young Democrats of Hawaii; Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawaii COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resilience Team; Democratic Party of Hawaii; and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and one individual.

 

Your Committee finds that the Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia, collectively known as the Freely Associated States, all have Compacts of Free Association with the United States, allowing the citizens of these nations to enter the United States without work permits or visas to study, live, and work and to access benefits available to United States citizens, such as driver's licenses and health care. Your Committee further finds that the citizens of these nations contribute to the vibrancy of indigenous cultural practices in the State, participate in economic activities in multiple sectors in the State, and volunteer to serve in the United States Armed Forces at per capita rates higher than most states. However, despite these contributions, citizens of these nations often face discrimination in access to housing, education, and employment. This measure recognizes the contributions made by the Compact of Free Association community to the State and condemns the any racial or cultural discrimination, violence, or defamation against the citizens of the Freely Associated States.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Amending its title to read, "RECOGNIZING THE HISTORIC, CULTURAL, AND STRATEGIC CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE PEOPLES OF OCEANIA, OF WHICH HAWAII AND THE FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES ARE A PART.";

 

(2) Inserting language recognizing and clarifying the deep historic, cultural, and strategic ties between the peoples of Hawaii and the Freely Associated States;

 

(3) Inserting language condemning racial or cultural discrimination, violence, and defamation against citizens of the Compact of Free Association;

 

(4) Inserting language recognizing the geo-strategic importance of these nations to the United States and Hawaii against foreign adversaries, particularly the People's Republic of China;

 

(5) Inserting language requesting the United States Congress to continue to support economic and scientific assistance to the Freely Associated States;

 

(6) Inserting language urging the Governor to implement programs and training to combat discrimination against Pacific Island communities, including expanding language access and countering bullying against Compact of Free Association students in public schools, and to work with the heads of states of these nations on commonly shared policy issues;

(7) Amending the recipients of certified copies of this measure; and

 

(8) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Culture, Arts, & International Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 215, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 215, S.D. 1, H.D. 1.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Culture, Arts, & International Affairs,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

CEDRIC ASUEGA GATES, Chair