Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  H.B. No. 20
                                        H.D. 2
                                        S.D. 1

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committees on Judiciary and Commerce and Consumer
Protection, to which was referred H.B. 20, H.D. 2, entitled: 


beg leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill, as received by your Committees, is

     (1)  Increase judicial salaries by 14 percent effective July
          1, 1999, and by an additional 13 percent effective July
          1, 2000;

     (2)  Eliminate the early retirement provision for judges,
          including the provision allowing judges to retire
          whenever the member's allowance reaches 75 percent of
          the member's average final compensation; and

     (3)  Ensuring that changes to the early retirement provision
          will not adversely affect the accrued rights of current
          judges as of June 30, 1999, and individuals who are or
          were members of the Employees' Retirement System and
          who accrued benefits as judges before July 1, 1999.

     Your Committees find that Hawaii's judges are significantly
undercompensated.  Hawaii is the only state in the nation that
has not increased the salary of its judges during the last nine
years.  Your Committees note that since 1990, forty-four of the

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                                   Page 2

remaining forty-nine states have granted their judges three or
more raises.  In 1997 alone, twenty-nine states raised the
salaries of their general trial court justices.  

     Your Committees further find that Hawaii's failure to
adequately compensate its judges is adversely affecting the
quality of justice.  Insufficient compensation creates the risk
that judges will leave the bench, thus depriving the public of
the significant value of experienced jurists.  Since 1992, ten
seasoned and experienced judges have left Hawaii's bench due, in
part, to the lack of adequate compensation.  Your Committees note
that in recent months, another two seasoned justices have
announced their intention to leave the bench.  Your Committees
believe that these departures will continue until compensation is
adjusted.  Therefore, your Committees agree that an increase in
judicial salaries is required in order to ensure that the most
highly qualified individuals will be attracted to the state
judiciary and will be able to serve and continue to serve without
unreasonable economic hardship.

     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the
Judiciary, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the
Hawaii State Bar Association, the United Public Workers Union,
Hawaii Women Lawyers, two private attorneys, and two private
citizens.  The Employees' Retirement System also submitted
comments on this measure.

     Upon further consideration, your Committees have amended
this measure by deleting its substance and inserting the contents
of S.B. 1345, S.D. 1, which provides an increase in judicial
salaries by eighteen percent over two years.  Your Committees
have further amended this measure by adopting the recommendations
of the Employees' Retirement System, including making technical,
non-substantive changes for the purposes of clarity and style.

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your
Committees on Judiciary and Commerce and Consumer Protection that
are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with
the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 20, H.D. 2, as amended herein,
and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached
hereto as H.B. No. 20, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the
Committee on Ways and Means.

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                                   Page 3

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committees on Judiciary and
                                   Consumer Protection,

____________________________       ______________________________
BRIAN KANNO, Co-Chair              AVERY B. CHUMBLEY, Co-Chair

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