Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 1003
                                        S.D. 1

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


     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No.
1003 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to allow parents who do not
contest their support obligations and who are not in arrearage
with their payments to opt out of the child support enforcement
agency payment system.

     Your Committee finds that many custodial parents have not
been able to obtain effective assistance from the Child Support
Enforcement Agency (CSEA).  The CSEA's overwhelming caseload
greatly contributes to the difficulty custodial parents have in
obtaining assistance from CSEA.  Your Committee further finds
that a decrease in the number of cases handled by CSEA would
allow the agency to address the many other computer, staffing,
and system maintenance problems that have plagued it.  Therefore,
your Committee intends for this bill to provide more parents the
opportunity to make alternative payment arrangements, thereby
decreasing the caseload of CSEA and increasing agency efficiency
and service.

     However, your Committee is concerned that this bill, as
drafted, may make it easier for obligor parents to request direct
payment and then not pay.  Your Committee finds that at least
seventy percent of obligor parents do not pay all or part of
their child support obligations.  In addition, your Committee is

                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 837
                                   Page 2

concerned that situations may occur whereby an obligor parent may
unduly influence the custodial parent into agreeing to the direct
payment option.

     Your Committee is aware that section 576D-10, Hawaii Revised
Statutes, already provides for alternative or "opt-out"
arrangements allowing for direct payment of child support between
an obligor parent and the custodial parent upon a finding by the
court that it is in the "best interest of the child."  Your
Committee strongly believes that this standard should still be
applied as the primary standard when allowing parents to "opt-
out" of the system.

     Testimony in support of the measure was submitted by two
private citizens.  The Department of the Attorney General, the
Department of Human Services, Hawaii State Commission on the
Status of Women, Hawaii Women Lawyers, and a private citizen
submitted testimony in support of the intent of the bill but had
several concerns about the ramifications of allowing the parents
to agree to "opt-out" of the CSEA system.

     Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended this
bill by authorizing the court to permit opt-out agreements,
provided that such agreements are in the best interests of the
child and comply with all federal regulations.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No.
1003, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second
Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1003, S.D. 1, and
be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

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

                                   AVERY B. CHUMBLEY, Co-Chair

                                   MATTHEW M. MATSUNAGA, Co-Chair