STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1352
RE: H.B. No. 1148
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Health and Human Services and Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 1148, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the University of Hawaii to expand and support the Mental Health Technician Certificate of Competence Program.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Health, State Council on Mental Health, University of Hawai‘i System, and one individual.
Your Committees find that there is a severe shortage of mental health workers in the State. In response, the University of Hawaii Windward Community College, in collaboration with the Hawaii State Hospital, developed the Mental Health Technician Certificate of Competence Program (Program) to provide foundational knowledge to potential mental health workers and to upskill existing workers. Despite the relative youth of the Program, which was first implemented in the spring of 2022, the Program has already helped to alleviate the State's dire need for mental health services, particularly at the Hawaii State Hospital, where nearly half of the program's graduates are now employed. To continue to build the capacity of the State to implement effective, supportive mental health care, this measure appropriates funds to support the expansion of the Mental Health Technician Certificate of Competence Program.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Amending section 1 to specify that this measure addresses an issue of statewide concern;
(2) Inserting an effective date of June 30, 2023, to encourage further discussion; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health and Human Services and Higher Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1148, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1148, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health and Human Services and Higher Education,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair