Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

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

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


     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B.
No. 20, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to amend the service retirement
laws to correlate years on the bench with retirement benefits and
increase judicial salaries by eighteen per cent over two years.

     Your Committee agrees with the intent of this bill, and
finds that judges in Hawaii are significantly undercompensated.
Not only does the Judiciary face competition in salaries from
private law firms, but Hawaii is the only state that has not
increased the salary of its judges during the last nine years.
Since 1990, forty-four of the other 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 Committee finds that the State's failure to adequately
compensate its judges has adversely affected the quality of
justice.  Insufficient compensation creates the risk that judges
will leave the bench, thereby depriving the public of the
significant value of experienced jurists.  Since 1992, ten
experienced judges have left Hawaii's bench, due in part to the

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                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1474
                                   Page 2

lack of adequate compensation, and another two have also recently
announced their intention to leave the bench.  The Judicial
Salary Commission believes that these departures will continue
until compensation is adjusted.  Your Committee finds that this
bill will help 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

     Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended the
bill by:

     (1)  Replacing the sums appropriated with blank amounts to
          facilitate further discussion on the funding necessary
          to carry out the purposes of this measure;

     (2)  In the purpose section, replacing the percentage
          increase in judicial salaries from eighteen per cent to
          a blank amount;

     (3)  Replacing the new salaries specified in the bill with
          blank amounts; and

     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive changes to conform
          statutory provisions in the bill to the printed version
          of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

     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 H.B. No.
20, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it
pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 20,
H.D. 2, S.D. 2.

                                 Respectfully submitted on behalf
                                 of the members of the Committee
                                 on Ways and Means,

                                 CAROL FUKUNAGA, Co-Chair

                                 ANDREW LEVIN, Co-Chair

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