STAND. COM. REP. NO. 558
RE: S.B. No. 147
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 147 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE REPEAL OF SECTION 325-15, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to repeal section 325-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which requires United States citizens or nationals to submit a medical examination report to the Department of Health within sixty days of returning to the State after five years' residence in any United States territory or possession, or any foreign country, with a high occurrence of infectious and communicable diseases.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health.
Your Committee finds that mandatory testing for infectious and communicable diseases for United States citizens and nationals returning from certain areas after absences of five or more years provides minimal benefits to tuberculosis control in Hawaii, is costly to maintain, and is impractical to enforce. Your Committee further finds that knowledge of the epidemiology of tuberculosis has improved significantly since mandatory testing was established in 1978, and that current data indicates very few, if any, contagious tuberculosis cases would be identified in United States citizens or nationals through the current mandated testing.
Your Committee notes testimony submitted by the Department of Health that indicates the mandatory testing of infectious and communicable diseases has never truly been implemented since its enactment in 1978, and that no other state in the country has legislation similar to Hawaii that requires such testing. In addition, Hawaii does not have a system to track, test, and document travel of United States citizens and nationals for five or more years. Your Committee finds that there is no evidence that continuing the current infectious and communicable disease testing mandate will help control tuberculosis at this time.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 147 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair