Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 656
                                        S.D. 1

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


     Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which
was referred S.B. No. 656 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this measure is to establish a citizen review
committee within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
to review annually the activities of the Public Utilities
Commission and advise the consumer advocate to ensure public
participation in decisions.

     The Hawai`i Green Party, Ho`olaulima O Palolo, Life of the
Land, and Na Leo Pohai of The Outdoor Circle presented testimony
in support of this measure.  Three individuals, though not
present, submitted written testimony in support of the measure.
The Public Utilities Commission, the Consumer Advocate, GTE,
Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., The Gas Company, and Kauai
Electric presented testimony in opposition.

     Your Committee finds that there is strong public interest in
utility projects that affect the health and wellbeing of their
communities and families.  Your Committee further finds that
while there are means available to allow for public participation
and input into the decisions made by the Public Utilities
Commission, the process is burdensome, complicated, and difficult
to follow.

a                                                     SB656 SD1
                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 402
                                   Page 2

     Your Committee further finds that while the consumer
advocate's role is to represent the people of this State,
additional public participation is essential, especially in
instances when the consumer advocate's position is not the same
as the affected community.  Your Committee would also provide the
consumer advocate with a broader public perspective in the
development of policy.

     Your Committee has amended the measure to rename the citizen
review committee the citizen advisory committee, and to make
technical, nonsubstantive amendments.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to
this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and
purpose of S.B. No. 656, as amended herein, and recommends that
it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as
S.B. No. 656, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways
and Means.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Commerce and
                                   Consumer Protection,

                                   BRIAN KANNO, Co-Chair

                                   BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Co-Chair

a                                                     SB656 SD1