STAND. COM. REP. NO. 346________

                                 Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 510

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No.
510 entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Board of
Education to employ or retain attorneys to represent the Board
without the approval of the Attorney General.

     Your Committee received testimony in favor of this measure
from the Board of Education.  Testimony in opposition to the
measure was received from the Department of the Attorney General.

     While your Committee acknowledges the overall exceptionally
high integrity, commitment, promptness, and legal quality of the
representation provided by the Attorney General, as well as the
added expense of hiring additional attorneys, your Committee
nevertheless finds that the legal interests of the Board of
Education, as a semi-autonomous elected body, are better served
by allowing the Board to retain or hire its own attorneys without
the approval of the Attorney General.

     Your Committee finds that the Board of Education has faced
problems in dealings with the Attorney General ranging from
uncertain communications to conflicting and untimely legal
opinions.  While part of the problem may be related to the

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                                 Page 2

tremendous increase in litigation being handled by the Attorney
General involving the Felix consent decree, your Committee finds
that the Board has been prevented from assuming more aggressive
legal positions than those currently undertaken by the Attorney
General, and that allowing the Board to employ its own attorneys
will allow the Board to respond more quickly, not only to its own
needs, but to the legal needs of the Department of Education and
the Hawaii State Public Library System as well.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No.
510 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to
the Committee on Finance.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Education,

                                   KEN ITO, Chair

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