STAND. COM. REP. NO. 545
RE: S.B. No. 1594
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 1594 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CRISIS INTERVENTION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish a Crisis Intervention and Diversion Program within the Department of Health to divert those with mental health issues to appropriate health care services;
(2) Define "crisis center" and "crisis intervention officer";
(3) Authorize a person believed to be imminently dangerous to self or others by a law enforcement officer to be assisted by a crisis intervention officer and transported to a designated crisis center; and
(4) Appropriate funds for the Crisis Intervention Team Program and for each county to certify law enforcement officers in mental health first aid, as disseminated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and the crisis intervention team model, as developed by Crisis Intervention Team International.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health; Honolulu Police Department; Hawaii Disability Rights Center; Institute for Human Services, Inc.; and Partners in Care.
Your Committee finds that thousands of people in Hawaii are cited or arrested for offenses such as drinking liquor in public, loitering in public parks after hours, and camping on sidewalks, beaches, and other restricted public places each year. Most of these people suffer from issues relating to drugs, alcohol, or mental illness. Many of those cited do not appear in court, leading to bench warrants being issued for their arrests. Time and resources are expended bringing people to court, and the court system, prosecutors, and police are caught in a never-ending revolving door situation. Mental health service providers have been working with law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system to implement a crisis intervention program on Oahu. This measure establishes a Crisis Intervention and Diversion Program within the Department of Health to divert people in crisis from the criminal justice system to the health care system and appropriates funds to support crisis intervention efforts.
Your Committee notes that the Department of Health originally submitted testimony asking your Committee to defer this measure in favor of a different legislative vehicle. However, the Department of Health has revised its testimony to be in support of this measure, and submits requested amendments. Your Committee respectfully requests that your Committee on Ways and Means consider the Department of Health's proposed amendments, should it choose to deliberate on this measure.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting the Department of Health as the agency responsible for certifying crisis intervention officers; and
(2) Clarifying that the Department of Health, rather than the Department of Law Enforcement, shall be the expending agency for the appropriation made by this measure to fund the certification of law enforcement officers.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1594, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1594, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair