STAND. COM. REP. NO. 502
RE: S.B. No. 1044
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 1044 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH,"
begs leave to report as follows:
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education, Hawai‘i Youth Services Network, Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Education Caucus, Opportunity Youth Action Hawai‘i, and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that suicide rates and suicide attempts are disproportionately high among the State's youth. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of ten and fourteen and the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. Additionally, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other people of color have disproportionately high rates of suicide. Hiring mental health specialists will help provide critical support to Hawaii's youth experiencing mental health issues.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the appropriation is for the hiring of complex-based behavioral health specialists, rather than school-based youth mental health specialists;
(2) Clarifying that the complex-based behavioral health specialists are for the State's rural public schools;
(3) Inserting an appropriation amount of $861,000 to hire complex-based behavioral health specialists for the State's rural public schools; and
(4) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
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 S.B. No. 1044, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1044, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair