Report Title:

School Repair and Maintenance; Hawaii 3R's

 

Description:

Indemnifies providers of professional services that contract with Helping Hands Hawaii, through Hawaii 3R's, to perform reduced-cost services to repair and maintain public schools. Appropriates funds for a position in DAGS to coordinate public and private efforts to repair and maintain public schools. (SB2068 HD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2068

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to school repair and maintenance.

 

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

SECTION 1. In 2001, the legislature enacted Act 309, which established the Hawaii school repair and maintenance fund as a separate fund of Helping Hands Hawaii, a Hawaii nonprofit organization. The Act authorized Helping Hands Hawaii to expend moneys from the fund in the form of either grants to organizations or contracts with private vendors for the repair and maintenance of public schools in Hawaii. The legislature intended that the public and private sectors work together as partners in securing contributions for the fund and that Helping Hands Hawaii, through its project, Hawaii 3R's, assist the public and private sectors in reviewing and investigating all potential funding sources.

The legislature finds, however, that some professionals in the construction industry have indicated their reluctance to contribute their services to Hawaii 3R's because of their fear of being held liable for damages. These professionals believe that their work, which is performed either pro bono or at a reduced cost, should be viewed more as that of a volunteer or "good Samaritan" and that they should not be held responsible for damages. Moreover, although many of these professionals have their own insurance, they are concerned that, if a lawsuit or claim is filed against them, they may incur additional costs in the form of higher premiums, even if they are found not at fault.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to indemnify providers of construction or project-related professional services that contract with Helping Hands Hawaii through Hawaii 3R's to perform pro bono or reduced-cost services for the repair and maintenance of public schools in Hawaii, as of January 1, 2002. Furthermore, this Act appropriates additional funding for fiscal year 2002-2003 for a position in the department of accounting and general services to coordinate public and private efforts to repair and maintain public schools.

SECTION 2. Act 309, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"SECTION . Providers of construction or project-related professional services for the repair and maintenance of public schools; indemnification. (a) As used in this section:

"Professional" means any person who has entered into a contract with Helping Hands Hawaii, through its project, Hawaii 3R's, to perform pro bono or reduced-cost construction or project-related professional services for the repair and maintenance of public schools.

"Public schools" has the same meaning as defined in section 302A-101, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

(b) The State shall indemnify a professional from liability by paying any judgment in, or settlement of, any civil legal action, including fees and costs, resulting from the professional's act or omission to act while in the performance of a contract with Helping Hands Hawaii, through its project, Hawaii 3R's, unless the loss for which compensation is sought is caused by or is the result of the volunteer's wilful and wanton act or omission; provided that:

(1) The State shall indemnify the professional whether or not the professional is in whole or in part covered by an insurance policy purchased by the State, the professional, or any other person; and

(2) This section does not affect the responsibility of the department of accounting and general services, the department of education, or any other state agency to oversee or inspect any repair and maintenance project for a public school.

(c) This section shall apply retroactive to January 1, 2002."

SECTION 3. Act 309, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, is amended by amending section 6 to read as follows:

"SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $41,772 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2001-2002 and $       or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003 for a position in the department of accounting and general services to coordinate public and private efforts to repair and maintain public schools. The comptroller may employ the coordinator, who shall be exempt from [chapters] chapter 76 [and 77], Hawaii Revised Statutes, as necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act. The coordinator shall serve at the pleasure of the comptroller.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of accounting and general services for the purposes of this Act."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.