STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1904-22

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2022

 

RE: S.B. No. 2798

S.D. 1

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2022

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 2798, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VETERINARY MEDICINE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to:

 

(1) Authorize the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine to grant temporary courtesy permits and relief permits for out-of-state veterinarians;

 

(2) Specify the conditions under which licensed veterinarians may practice veterinary telemedicine;

 

(3) Clarify when persons licensed to practice veterinary medicine in other jurisdictions may practice in the State; and

 

(4) Authorize international veterinary school graduates to qualify for the licensure examination.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine, Hawaiian Humane Society, Neighborhood Cats, Kauai Humane Society, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, Cat People of Oahu, Hui Pono Holoholona, and numerous individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that there is a shortage of veterinarian specialists and practitioners in the State, which has made it exceedingly difficult for animal welfare organizations and veterinary practices to fill vacant positions. This has prevented veterinary emergency hospitals from operating on an around-the-clock basis and has limited the availability of general and specialty veterinary care throughout Hawaii. As a result, owners and their pets may experience delays in care as long as several months.

 

Your Committee further finds that, in 2020, the practice of an out-of-state veterinarian working under the sponsorship of an in-state veterinarian was invalidated by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. While this practice was commonly employed for many years by nonprofit organizations to meet their acute needs, this practice was determined to have rested on an incorrect interpretation of the law. This measure is the result of a collaborative effort to authorize various avenues for out-of-state veterinarians to fill the gaps in the State's veterinary needs.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Clarifying that the sponsor responsibilities are applicable to the veterinary medicine laws and rules adopted thereunder, rather than solely applicable to the courtesy and relief permits;

 

(2) Specifying that applications fees are nonrefundable;

 

(3) Requiring the Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to establish all necessary fees by rule;

 

(4) Specifying that the courtesy permits and relief permits shall take effect on July 1, 2023;

 

(5) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2798, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2798, S.D. 1, H.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

AARON LING JOHANSON, Chair