STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1791
RE: H.B. No. 870
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 870, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE NEIGHBOR ISLANDS BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED SERVICE PILOT PROGRAM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to facilitate services to blind and visually impaired individuals on the neighbor islands.
Specifically, the measure:
(1) Requires the Department of Human Services to:
(A) Establish a neighbor islands blind and visually impaired service pilot program that supplements existing statewide services by providing training and other services to neighbor island residents who are blind or visually impaired;
(B) Establish a neighbor islands blind and visually impaired service pilot program working group;
(C) Collaborate with the working group to develop a pilot program implementation plan and submit the plan to the Legislature before the Regular Session of 2024; and
(D) Submit a report on the blind and visually impaired service pilot program to the Legislature before the Regular Session of 2027; and
(2) Appropriates moneys to fund the establishment and operation of the neighbor islands blind and visually impaired service pilot program and working group.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii, Hawaii State Committee of Blind Vendors, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children Hawaii, and seven individuals.
Your Committee recognizes that many blind and visually impaired neighbor island residents are not able to benefit from existing state and local support services, for various reasons. Accordingly, your Committee finds that efforts that supplement existing services, as proposed by this measure, will enable these individuals to improve their quality of life and achieve greater independence.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 870, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair