Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 747

       H.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 747, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Establish employment first as a state policy with respect to disabled persons;


     (2)  Require state and county agencies to implement the employment first policy in hiring and all programs and services administered or funded by the State or counties; and


     (3)  Apply employment first principles to Medicaid home- and community-based waiver programs.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities; State Rehabilitation Council; Hawaii Disability Rights Center; Democratic Party of Hawaii, Oahu County Committee, Affirmative Action Committee; Democratic Party of Hawaii Labor Caucus; and two individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.


     Your Committee finds that employment is one key to full civic engagement for individuals with disabilities.  In addition to improving economic well-being, employment increases self-worth, builds relationships, and provides access to community resources.  Employment establishes community connections that allow people to become contributing and valued members of their community.  Your Committee further finds that employment first is a policy based upon the idea that working age persons with disabilities can work in jobs fully integrated in the community.  Integrated employment includes typical workplace settings that offer regular opportunities for meaningful interaction with coworkers, customers, and the community.


     Your Committee also finds that according to gubernatorial proclamations, Hawaii has long been an employment first state.  Without implementing legislation, however, these proclamations are merely aspirational.  This measure will establish employment first with respect to disabled persons in Hawaii, which will ensure that individuals with disabilities have an opportunity to pursue competitive, integrated employment, thereby adding to the diversity of the workforce and general enrichment of communities.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 747, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,