Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 1345
                                        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 S.B. No. 1345 entitled: 


beg leave to report as follows:

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

     (1)  Amend the service retirement laws to correlate years on
          the bench with retirement benefits;

     (2)  Increase judicial salaries as proposed by the 1998
          report of the judicial salary commission;

     (3)  Provide salary increases for the administrative
          director of the courts and the deputy administrative
          director of the courts as proposed in the commission's
          1998 report; and

     (4)  Link future judicial salary annual increases to the
          Honolulu Consumer Price Index.

     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
remaining forty-nine states have granted their judges three or

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                                   Page 2

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 Bar Association; the United Public Workers Union AFSCME,
Local 646; Hawaii Women Lawyers; the American Judicature Society;
the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii; Common Cause; and 3 private
attorneys.  The Department of the Attorney General and the
Employees' Retirement System also submitted comments on this

     Upon further consideration, your Committees have amended
this measure by:

     (1)  Changing the purpose section of the bill to reflect the
          amendments made to this measure;

     (2)  Providing that any member who first earns creditable
          service as a judge after June 30, 1999, or who reenters
          service as a judge after June 30, 1999, without vested
          benefits, may retire after ten years of credited
          service and having attained age fifty-five;

     (3)  Increasing judicial salaries by eighteen percent over
          two years;

     (4)  Deleting salary increases for the administrative
          director of the courts and the deputy administrative

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                                   Page 3

     (5)  Deleting all provisions that link future judicial
          salary annual increases to the Honolulu Consumer Price

     (6)  Deleting reference to section 608-1.5, Hawaii Revised
          Statues, that provides the Judicial Salary Commission
          shall determine the annual and periodic adjustments to
          judicial salaries; 

     (7)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 1999, and
          providing that the effective date will not affect the
          retirement of those judges who are current members or
          who are confirmed prior to the effective date; and

     (8)  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 S.B. No. 1345, as amended herein, and
recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto
as S.B. No. 1345, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on
Ways and Means.

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

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

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