STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1860

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 622

H.D. 2

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 622, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish a Prevent Suicide Hawaii Working Group within the Office of Wellness and Resilience;

 

(2) Require the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Working Group to focus on preventing suicides in the State, particularly among Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, farmers, youth, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and other populations identified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a high-risk population for suicide; implement recommendations in the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Task Force's interim report; and report to the Legislature before the Regular Session of 2025.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Wellness and Resilience, State Council on Mental Health, University of Hawai'i System, Hawaii Primary Care Association, Stonewall Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Family Forum, Ahahui o nā Kauka, Prevent Suicide Hawaii Taskforce, Papa Ola Lokahi, Samaritan Counseling Center Hawaii, and nine individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Department of Human Services.

 

Your Committees find that suicide has long been a public health issue in the State. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the leading cause of death for all state residents aged ten to forty-four. The State's rates of suicide now consistently rank above the national average. This measure will establish a Prevent Suicide Hawaii Working Group, which will help prevent suicide and reduce the number of suicide deaths in the State.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by removing language that would have specified that no member of the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Working Group shall be subject to chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of the member's participation in the working group.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 622, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 622, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,

 

________________________________

DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair