STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1134
RE: S.B. No. 1317
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 S.B. No. 1317, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BROADBAND,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to is to facilitate access to high-speed broadband internet service.
Specifically, the measure:
(1) Appropriates an unspecified amount from the state general fund to provide the matching funds required to receive federal funds for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program;
(2) Appropriates an unspecified amount from the funds received by the State from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the BEAD Program;
(3) Appropriates an unspecified amount from state general funds for additional matching fund requirements for federal fund programs related to broadband;
(4) Requires the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, rather than the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office, to convene the working group that was established pursuant to Act 231, Session Laws of Hawaii 2022, for the purpose of determining the appropriate governance structure to implement, operate, and maintain broadband infrastructure development in the State; and
(5) Requires the Lieutenant Governor or a designee to serve as the Chair of the foregoing working group.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Budget and Finance; AARP Hawaii; and one individual.
Your Committee recognizes that access to high-speed internet, which the measure promotes, is essential for Hawaii residents.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Transferring the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor on a temporary, four-year basis; and
(2) Redirecting the measure's appropriations to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
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 S.B. No. 1317, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1317, S.D. 3.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair