COM. REP. NO. 127
RE: H.B. No. 828
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 828 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO STUDENT TRANSPORTATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of Education to create a student bus fare rate system for the Department's school bus program to include free bus passes for students whose household qualifies the student for free or reduced lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Hawaii Children's Action Network Speaks!, Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Education Caucus, and four individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education.
Your Committee finds that the Department of Education provides regular bus service for qualified public school students to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws, which is essential for getting students to and from school, particularly for students who lack other transportation options or face hardship in obtaining transportation to school due to economic difficulty. Your Committee further finds that a student who qualifies for free lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program is eligible for a free bus pass. However, free bus passes do not extend to students who qualify for reduced lunch under the program. This measure expands access to student transportation services by creating a student bus fare system that allows for free bus passes for students in households that qualify for reduced lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language which would have required students who do not qualify for free or reduced price lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program to pay the full rate for a bus pass;
(2) Changing its effective date to June 30, 3000; and
(3) 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 Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 828, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 828, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
JUSTIN H. WOODSON, Chair