STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1323
RE: H.B. No. 339
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Labor and Technology and Health and Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 339, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM CIVIL SERVICE FOR POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to permanently exempt nine certain positions within the Department of Human Services from civil service.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!, and one individual.
Your Committees find that although the Department of Human Services (DHS) oversees nearly $4,000,000,000 in funds, over eighty offices statewide, and a staff of nearly two thousand positions to provide financial assistance, food assistance, health care coverage, child care subsidies, rental assistance, vocational rehabilitation services, homeless services, and protective services to Hawaii residents, it only has four permanent positions within its director's office. According to testimony received by your Committees, other departments with similar levels of work, budget, and staffing operate with significantly larger directors' offices that include multiple deputies and additional permanent positions, and that the nine positions specified within this measure require a high level of professional experience and expertise that does not currently exist within the civil service.
Your Committees recognize the diversity and magnitude of DHS programs and that, with the upcoming end of federal pandemic programs and program waivers, DHS needs continuity of leadership with knowledge and experience to support its ever-evolving and complex operations. This measure will provide the necessary infrastructure for DHS to continue serving the community and fulfill its duties and responsibilities with minimal disruptions to residents' access to benefits and services.
Your Committees have amended this measure by inserting an effective date of June 30, 2032, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Labor and Technology and Health and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 339, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 339, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Labor and Technology and Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair
SHARON MORIWAKI, Chair