STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1484

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.C.R. No. 98

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 98 entitled:

 

"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DIRECTOR OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE ON PAID FAMILY LEAVE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations to convene a sixteen-member paid family leave task force to study, design, and develop a paid family leave pilot program with coverage limited to certain employers and employees to be established and implemented by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) as a trial program that could eventually be expanded to cover all public and private sector workers in the State.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from AAUW of Hawaii; Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii; Breastfeeding Hawaii; Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL‑CIO; Hawaii Public Health Institute Obesity Prevention Task Force; Mai Movement Hawaii; and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and Society for Human Resource Management Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that existing federal and state laws that require covered employers to allow eligible employees leave of absence for family caregiving purposes (family leave), such as to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a new child, do not require the leave to be paid leave. The need for family leave in Hawaii is expected to increase as the percentage of residents aged sixty-five years and older is projected to rise from 14.5 percent in 2010, to 22.6 percent in 2030. However, a majority of Hawaii's workforce cannot afford to take unpaid family leave due to financial constraints.

 

The Legislature has considered various measures over numerous sessions to establish a framework by which paid family leave can be provided to the Hawaii workforce. In 2018, it ordered the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) to analyze the impacts of establishing a paid family leave program in Hawaii to enable the Legislature to choose a model or framework that is most suitable for Hawaii. The LRB study, issued in December 2019, projected the costs and staffing required to establish and maintain a paid family leave system in Hawaii under three social insurance models. Your Committee believes that the next step towards establishment of a state-wide paid family leave program is to have a task force study, design, and develop a pilot program with limited coverage to be implemented by DLIR that could eventually be expanded to the entire State.

 

Your Committee notes testimony from the Society for Human Resource Management Hawaii suggesting that a human resource professional be a member of the paid family leave task force. Your Committee recommends that one of the task force members who represents business organizations or small business organizations be a human resource professional. Your Committee also notes DLIR's testimony stating that it will require five dedicated personnel, i.e., the chairperson, temporary disability insurance specialist, a labor law enforcement specialist, and two clerical staff, to support the task force, whose total compensation will surpass $300,000. Your Committee will seek an appropriation to fund the paid family leave task force, including compensation for DLIR's dedicated personnel, in the budget bill.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 98 and recommends its adoption.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts,

 

 

 

________________________________

BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair