STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1740
RE: S.C.R. No. 95
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 95, S.D. 1, entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO CONVENE A WORKING GROUP TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT PERSONS AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER EMERGENCIES AND NATURAL DISASTERS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to request the Governor to convene a working group to develop recommendations for effective communications with limited English proficient persons and persons with disabilities for emergencies and natural disasters.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Human Services, Disability and Communication Access Board, Office of Enterprise Technology Services, Office of Language Access, Hawai‘i Friends of Civil Rights, Ethnic Education Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawai‘i, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Your Committee finds that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic revealed the gaps in the State's ability to provide meaningful access to limited English proficient persons and persons with disabilities. One in nine people in the State are classified as limited English proficient persons, one of the highest proportions of non-English speakers in the nation. Your Committee further finds that language access is a civil right protected by federal and state laws. The State has been repeatedly cited for its failure to provide language accessible services. This measure is necessary to ensure that meaningful access to necessary services during an emergency or natural disaster is provided in an efficient and effective manner to limited English proficient persons and persons with disabilities.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 95, S.D. 1, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness,
LINDA ICHIYAMA, Chair