STAND. COM. REP. NO. 525
RE: H.B. No. 622
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 622, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to:
(1) Make the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force within the Department of Health permanent;
(2) Require the Task Force to focus on reducing the suicide rate among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the State; and
(3) Require reports to the Legislature.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Papa Ola Lokahi, Hawai‘i Family Forum, Queen's Health System, Prevent Suicide Hawai‘i Task Force, Stonewall Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Public Safety and Department of Health.
Your Committee finds that between 2017-2021, there were an average of one hundred ninety-six suicide deaths per year, with attempts outnumbering deaths by five to one. Your Committee further finds that the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force is currently tasked with a strategic plan to reduce suicides in the State by twenty-five percent by 2025. This measure aims to reduce attempts and prevent suicides in the State by permanently establishing the Task Force to continue to collaborate, provide leadership, set goals and objectives, develop strategies, coordinate activities, and monitor the progress of suicide prevention efforts.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying the members to be appointed from the Department of Health;
(2) Clarifying that a member be appointed by the Governor from a Native Hawaiian health and well-being organization;
(3) Specifying that the members are to select the chairperson of the Task Force; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider the inclusion of a representative from a Pacific Islander health and well-being organization as a member on the Suicide Prevent Hawaii Task Force.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 622, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 622, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,
DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair