REPORT TITLE:
Library Accounts


DESCRIPTION:
Grants the BOE the authority to establish a fee of not more than
$10 to be added to delinquent patron accounts at the time they
are referred to a collection agency.  (SD1)

 
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                                                        1156
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO COST-RECOVERY FEES FOR DELINQUENT LIBRARY ACCOUNTS.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Hawaii state
 
 2 public library system is responsible to the taxpayers, customers,
 
 3 and supporters for the efficient utilization and accounting of
 
 4 tax revenues, maintenance and protection of library equipment and
 
 5 materials, and public donations of moneys and properties.  An
 
 6 important area of accountability is the customers' delinquencies
 
 7 in the return of books and other library materials and payment of
 
 8 fees and fines, currently amounting to approximately $3,000,000.
 
 9 In addition, a substantial block of time is required to process
 
10 the overdue books and credit adjustments and administrative costs
 
11 to collect these delinquent customers accounts.
 
12      The legislature finds that these library customers need
 
13 incentives to return the borrowed materials so that other library
 
14 customers will enjoy using these materials and to pay their fines
 
15 and fees on a timely basis before cost-recovery fees are imposed
 
16 and referred to a collection agency.
 
17      The purpose of this Act is to provide the board of education
 
18 the authority to make rules, rates and set procedures for the
 
19 public library system to recover delinquent library materials and
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1 administrative costs in its efforts to collect delinquent
 
 2 accounts from patrons.
 
 3      SECTION 2.  Chapter 312, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 4 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
 5 read as follows:
 
 6      "312-     Cost-recovery fees for the administration of
 
 7 Hawaii state public library system.  (a)  The board of education
 
 8 may charge and add a fee to any amount due in accordance with its
 
 9 duties and powers under section 312-1 for:
 
10      (1)  Any cost or expense incurred by the Hawaii state public
 
11           library system as a result of any action taken to
 
12           enforce the collection of costs of lost books and any
 
13           overdue fines and fees charged to that patron after the
 
14           public library system has mailed written notice
 
15           demanding payment and advising that continued failure
 
16           to pay the amount due may result in collection action
 
17           being taken, including the imposition of cost-recovery
 
18           fees, not to exceed $10, pursuant to this section.  Any
 
19           cost-recovery fee charged against the patron for costs,
 
20           fees, and other charges may include collection agency
 
21           fees, attorneys' fees, court filing fees, and similar
 
22           fees incurred by the Hawaii state public library system
 
23           in connection with the collection action;
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1      (2)  Hawaii public library system sponsored seminars or
 
 2           workshops, including educational materials in various
 
 3           media format; and
 
 4      (3)  Research and reference materials published on magnetic
 
 5           media, CD-ROM, or other machine-readable form.
 
 6      (b)  Interest shall not accrue with respect to any fee under
 
 7 this section.
 
 8      (c)  Notwithstanding any other provisions under this
 
 9 chapter, whenever a patron makes a partial payment of a
 
10 particular delinquent amount, the amount received by the Hawaii
 
11 state public library system shall first be credited to the fees
 
12 charged under this section, in the order the fees were charged.
 
13      (d)  The board of education shall prescribe the procedures
 
14 relating to:
 
15      (1)  The charging of fees;
 
16      (2)  The waiver of fees;
 
17      (3)  The documents, materials, and services for which fees
 
18           may be charged;
 
19      (4)  The amount of the fees that may be assessed and charged
 
20           to a library patron;
 
21      (5)  The accumulated amount of lost library material costs,
 
22           fines, or fees;
 
23      (6)  The period of time that the lost library materials
 

 
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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1           costs, fines, or fees must remain unpaid before they
 
 2           may be referred to a collection agency for collection
 
 3           pursuant to rules adopted under chapter 91; and
 
 4      (7)  The notification of persons with delinquent accounts of
 
 5           the additional fees to be charged by the collection
 
 6           agency prior to the referral to the collection agency.
 
 7      (e)  The state librarian may waive any fee imposed by the
 
 8 Hawaii state public library system under chapter 312 in cases of
 
 9 hardship as prescribed by rules adopted under chapter 91.
 
10      (f)  Upon its collection, the cost-recovery fee shall be
 
11 deposited into the libraries special fund established by section
 
12 312-3.6 and shall be expended as prescribed by law."
 
13      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
14      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 

 
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