STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1078-16
RE: S.B. No. 2476
Honorable Joseph M. Souki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2476, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Establishing within the Department of Health an Early Language Acquisition Program for children up to three years of age;
(2) Requiring the Department of Health, Department of Education, and the Executive Office on Early Learning to establish a working group on age-appropriate language development for children up to five years of age; and
(3) Appropriating funds to staff the Early Language Acquisition Program.
The School Community Council of the Hawai‘i School for the Deaf and Blind; Aloha State Association of the Deaf; and numerous individuals supported this measure. The Executive Office on Early Learning; Disability and Communication Access Board; Department of Human Services; Department of Health; Department of Education; and several individuals provided comments.
Your Committee has amended this measure by adopting the proposed amendments provided by the Department of Health (Department) that specifically:
(1) Requires the Department to provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind rather than establishing an Early Language Acquisition Program within the Department;
(2) Amends the composition and responsibilities of the working group;
(3) Appropriates funds for two permanent full time equivalent (2.0 FTE) positions in the Department to provide early languages services, rather than three positions for the Early Language Acquisition Program and one position to teach American Sign Language; and
(4) Makes technical nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2476, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2476, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Education.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
DELLA AU BELATTI, Chair