Report Title:

State Parks; Transfer to Counties

 

Description:

Transfers DLNR jurisdiction over state parks to the counties.

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1245

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to parks.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Transfer of state parks to county control; task force. (a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all state parks shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the counties. All powers, duties, rights, and obligations previously exercised by the department of land and natural resources over state parks are transferred to the counties.

(b) There is established a task force within the office of the governor for administrative purposes to provide for the orderly transfer of all state parks, together with all state park functions and funds, to the counties. The governor shall convene the task force within thirty days after the effective date of this section.

(c) The task force shall be composed of:

(1) The director of land and natural resources, or a designee, who shall serve as the chairperson of the task force;

(2) The four county directors having jurisdiction over parks and recreation, or their designees;

(3) One park user appointed by the governor;

(4) The chairperson of the house of representatives standing committee having jurisdiction over intergovernmental affairs, or a designee appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and

(5) The chairperson of the senate standing committee having jurisdiction over intergovernmental affairs, or a designee appointed by the president of the senate.

(d) In carrying out its duties under this section, the task force may request staff assistance from the state department of land and natural resources and other appropriate state and county executive agencies.

(e) The members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.

(f) The task force shall have the following functions and duties:

(1) Oversee the process of transferring functions and funding relating to the state parks to the counties;

(2) Establish a timetable for the transfer of functions;

(3) Monitor compliance with the timetable;

(4) Ensure that appropriations for specific parks projects are transferred to the counties;

(5) Provide for the transfer of all contracts relating to state parks to the counties;

(6) Ensure that all federal and state funds are fully allocated in the course of the transfer;

(7) Ensure that all unexpended and unencumbered balances appropriated out of the state parks special fund under section 184-3.4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and the park acquisition fund under section 184-3.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are transferred to each of the counties as appropriate and do not lapse;

(8) Make recommendations, as necessary, that the counties enact ordinances or policies that:

(A) Provide for the assumption of the responsibility over the protection of the natural environment with respect to parks that were formerly in the state land use conservation district;

(B) Ensure the preservation of historical and cultural sites;

(C) Retain the function of community recreation and education, as appropriate, for transferred parks;

(D) Provide for the continuation of parks repair and maintenance functions without an increase in cost to the public;

(E) Ensure that the county shall be able to comply with federal statutes and grant conditions, as appropriate;

(F) Ensure that public safety is maintained in all parks transferred to the counties; and

(G) Maintain or improve responsiveness to park users and customer concerns, particular to both residents and visitors using beach parks and wilderness areas;

(9) Review all relevant county ordinances and state statutes relating to state and county parks and related areas for possible amendment; and

(10) Resolve all other relevant issues to ensure the timely and efficient transfer of responsibility of the state park system under former chapter 184, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to the counties.

(g) The director of land and natural resources shall submit a report of the activities of the task force, including recommendations and proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2002 regular session. The legislative reference bureau shall assist the task force in drafting legislation to implement the task force's recommendations. The task force shall be dissolved on June 30, 2002.

SECTION 2. Section 26-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (b) and (c) to read as follows:

"(b) The department shall manage and administer the public lands of the State and minerals thereon and all water and coastal areas of the State except the commercial harbor areas of the State, including the soil conservation function, the forests and forest reserves, aquatic life, wildlife resources, [state parks, including historic sites,] and all activities thereon and therein including, but not limited to, boating, ocean recreation, and coastal areas programs.

(c) The functions and authority heretofore exercised by the commissioner and board of public lands (including the hydrography division and the bureau of conveyances), the Hawaii water authority, the commission on ground water resources, the Hawaii land development authority, the soil conservation committee, and the commission on historical sites [and the function of managing the state parks] and the function of promoting the conservation, development and utilization of forests, including the regulatory powers over the forest reserve, aquatic life and wildlife resources of the State heretofore exercised by the board of commissioners of agriculture and forestry as heretofore constituted are transferred to the department of land and natural resources established by this chapter."

SECTION 3. Section 46-65, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"46-65 Parks in the charge of council. All public parks and public recreation grounds are transferred to and placed in the charge of the council of the county in which the same may be located, to be maintained, managed, and controlled by them. All lands set apart or acquired as public parks and public recreation grounds shall likewise be placed in the charge of and maintained by the several councils. This section shall not apply to parks and public recreational grounds in the city and county of Honolulu[, or to the parks and parkways in the state park system]."

SECTION 4. Chapter 184, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

SECTION 5. All rights, powers, functions, and duties of the department of land and natural resources with respect to state parks are transferred to the counties.

All officers and employees whose functions are transferred by this Act shall be transferred with their functions and shall continue to perform their regular duties upon their transfer, subject to the state personnel laws and this Act.

No officer or employee of the State having tenure shall suffer any loss of salary, seniority, prior service credit, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefit or privilege as a consequence of this Act, and such officer or employee may be transferred or appointed to a civil service position without the necessity of examination; provided that the officer or employee possesses the minimum qualifications for the position to which transferred or appointed; and provided that subsequent changes in status may be made pursuant to applicable civil service and compensation laws.

An officer or employee of the State who does not have tenure and who may be transferred or appointed to a civil service position as a consequence of this Act shall become a civil service employee without the loss of salary, seniority, prior service credit, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefits or privileges and without the necessity of examination; provided that such officer or employee possesses the minimum qualifications for the position to which transferred or appointed.

If an office or position held by an officer or employee having tenure is abolished, the officer or employee shall not thereby be separated from public employment, but shall remain in the employment of the State with the same pay and classification and shall be transferred to some other office or position for which the officer or employee is eligible under the personnel laws of the State as determined by the head of the department or the governor.

SECTION 6. All appropriations, records, equipment, machines, files, supplies, contracts, books, papers, documents, maps, and other personal property heretofore made, used, acquired, or held by the department of land and natural resources relating to the functions transferred to the counties shall be transferred with the functions to which they relate.

SECTION 7. All rules, policies, procedures, guidelines, and other material adopted or developed by the department of land and natural resources relating to state parks shall remain in full force and effect until repealed by that department pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes. In the interim, every reference to the department or board of land and natural resources in those rules, policies, procedures, guidelines, and other material is amended to refer to the respective county department having jurisdiction over the state parks that were transferred, as appropriate.

SECTION 8. It is the intent of this Act not to jeopardize the receipt of any federal aid nor to impair the obligation of the State or any agency thereof to the holders of any bond issued by the State or by any such agency, and to the extent, and only to the extent, necessary to effectuate this intent, the governor may modify the strict provisions of this Act, but shall promptly report any such modification with reasons therefor to the legislature at its next session thereafter for review by the legislature.

SECTION 9. The transfer of state parks to the counties shall not result in the termination of any contracts for park services that are performed by private vendors. All contracts entered into under statutes or portions of statutes repealed or amended by this Act shall continue to be honored until their termination. The provisions of this Act shall not be applied so as to impair any contract existing as of the effective date of this Act or to otherwise be deemed to violate either the Hawaii constitution or article I, section 10, of the United States Constitution.

SECTION 10. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 11. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2001.

INTRODUCED BY:

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