Child Abuse

Appropriates $500,000 to the Hawaii Children's Trust Fund from
the Hawaii tobacco settlement special fund.  (HB2273 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that public policies and
 2 programs addressing child maltreatment have developed based on an
 3 overall understanding of the extent of maltreatment and its
 4 consequences to society.  Maltreatment commonly includes physical
 5 abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse.  The Child
 6 Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Public Law 93-247 (1974),
 7 defines child maltreatment as: "The physical and mental injury,
 8 sexual abuse, neglected treatment or maltreatment of a child
 9 under eighteen by a person who is responsible for the child's
10 welfare under circumstances which indicate the child's health and
11 welfare is harmed and threatened thereby, as determined in
12 accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of
13 Health, Education, and Welfare."  It is clear that since 1974,
14 abusive behavior is often perpetrated by strangers as well.
15      The legislature further finds that the extent of child abuse
16 and neglect is difficult to accurately quantify because many
17 incidences of abuse or neglect are not reported to authorities.
18 Although the number of incidences of child abuse or neglect may

Page 2                                                     2273
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1        

 1 be difficult to ascertain, the prevalence of abuse and neglect is
 2 indisputable.  Prevalence is determined by the overall numbers of
 3 reported cases and by surveys of unreported cases, which yield
 4 percentage figures in relation to the total population.
 5      Experts believe that the effects of maltreatment are unique
 6 to each individual child, although serious consequences often
 7 result depending on the intensity and frequency of maltreatment.
 8 The child's characteristics, relationship to the perpetrator, and
 9 access to supportive and treatment services influence the effects
10 of maltreatment.  However, children who are maltreated often
11 experience disrupted growth and development.  Adverse effects
12 have been identified as physical, cognitive, emotional, and
13 social development, and these consequences tend to accumulate
14 over time.  Research indicates that the negative effects on
15 development can often be reversed with timely identification of
16 the maltreatment and appropriate intervention.
17      The Hawaii children's trust fund was established by Act 336,
18 Session Laws of Hawaii 1993, to serve as a medium for a public-
19 private partnership for family strengthening to prevent child
20 abuse and neglect.  The trust fund makes grants to private,
21 nonprofit organizations, public agencies, or qualified persons to
22 provide community-based services and education, serving as an
23 example of shared priority setting and decision making between

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1        

 1 public citizens, state officials, elected officials, and
 2 professionals.  The trust fund maximizes financial resources by
 3 serving as a repository for federal and state funds, as well as
 4 private contributions from corporations and other businesses,
 5 foundations, individuals, and other interested parties.
 6      The legislature further finds that the Hawaii children's
 7 trust fund has ameliorated poor conditions for Hawaii's most
 8 vulnerable population by identifying and funding those programs
 9 that have had effective outcomes. 
10      The Hawaii community foundation administers the Hawaii
11 children's trust fund.  The foundation has been successfully
12 managing charitable endowments since 1916.  According to the
13 foundation, in testimony before the senate in the 1999 session, a
14 cost benefit analysis done in Hawaii and in other states
15 demonstrated that effective abuse and neglect prevention programs
16 that strengthen families are less costly than treating children
17 who have been abused or neglected.
18      An appropriation to the Hawaii children's trust fund would
19 ensure a more complete safety net is put in place for children
20 and their families.
21      The purpose of this Act is to make an appropriation to the
22 Hawaii children's trust fund from the Hawaii tobacco settlement
23 special fund.

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1        

 1      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the Hawaii tobacco
 2 settlement special fund of the State of Hawaii the sum of
 3 $500,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year
 4 2000-2001 to be paid into the Hawaii children's trust fund to be
 5 used for the purposes under section 250B-2(c), Hawaii Revised
 6 Statutes.
 7      SECTION 3.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
 8 department of health.
 9      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.