Report Title:

Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund; Hazard Mitigation Grants

 

Description:

Requires HHRF to develop and implement a three-year pilot program to provide grants to residential property owners for installation of HHRF-approved wind resistive devices that lessen the probability of property loss from strong winds. Appropriates funds. (SD1)

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2172

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

Relating to hawaii hurricane relief fund.

 

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

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii is susceptible to property loss due to hurricanes, tropical storms, and strong winds. The best long-term solution to reducing the potential damage is the statewide use of wind resistive devices. The legislature desires to establish a three-year pilot program, not subject to chapter 42F, 91, or 103D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to provide grants to certain property owners for installation of wind resistive devices, approved by the insurance commissioner, that lessen the severity of property loss from strong winds.

The legislature finds that the grant program serves a public purpose by protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of this State. The installation of wind resistive devices will help to reduce the incidence and severity of personal injury and property damage in the event of a hurricane, thereby preserving human life and property values and minimizing disruptions to the State's economy, business activity, and the delivery of public services. The grant program also serves the public purpose of stimulating economic growth and activity in the State by creating business and employment opportunities through the sale and installation of wind resistive devices.

SECTION 2. Chapter 431, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new article to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"ARTICLE

LOSS MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM

431: -101 Definitions. As used in this article:

"Commissioner" means the insurance commissioner.

"Loss mitigation" means actions undertaken to reduce losses that may result from a hazard.

"Wind resistive devices" means devices and techniques, as identified and determined in accordance with section 431:   -104(b), that increase a building's or structure's resistance to damage from wind forces.

431: -102 Loss mitigation grant fund. (a) There is established a special fund to be designated as the loss mitigation grant fund. Moneys transferred to the loss mitigation grant fund may be expended by the commissioner to carry out the commissioner's duties and obligations under this article. Disbursements from the loss mitigation grant fund shall not be subject to chapter 42F, 91, or 103D.

(b) The loss mitigation grant fund may be used by the commissioner to make loss mitigation grants authorized under this article. The loss mitigation grant fund shall also be used by the commissioner to pay for any administrative and operational costs, including personnel costs and marketing costs, associated with a loss mitigation grant program. Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the commissioner may use the moneys in the loss mitigation grant fund to employ or retain, by contract or otherwise, without regard to chapters 76 and 78, necessary professional, expert, managerial, technical, and support personnel to implement and carry out the purposes of this article.

(c) The commissioner shall prepare an annual report to the director, governor, and the legislature on the use of the loss mitigation grant fund. The report shall provide statistical information on program participation. The report shall be submitted to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular legislative session.

431: -103 Establishment of wind resistive device grant program. The commissioner shall develop and implement a pilot grant program to encourage the installation of wind resistive devices. The commissioner may spend up to $30,000,000 from the loss mitigation grant fund over three years for the grant program, which amounts shall include the costs of administering, operating, and marketing the grant program.

431: -104 Standards for the award of grants. (a) Subject to the availability of funds and the standards in this article, grants for wind resistive devices shall be awarded by the commissioner:

(1) That reimburse fifty per cent of costs incurred for the wind resistive devices and their installation and inspection, up to a maximum total reimbursement of $2,100 per dwelling;

(2) On a first-come first-served basis, as determined by the commissioner; and

(3) For a wind resistive device or devices installed only in a single or multi-family residential dwelling.

(b) Grants shall be awarded for the installation of the following:

(1) Uplift restraint ties at roof ridges and roof framing members to wall or beam supports;

(2) Additional fastening of roof sheathing and roof decking for high wind uplift;

(3) Impact and pressure resistant exterior opening protective devices; and

(4) Wall to foundation uplift restraint connections strengthening for wood foundation posts on footings.

The description, specifications, guidelines, and requirements for these wind resistive devices shall be further developed and determined by the commissioner in the commissioner's sole discretion. The commissioner, in the commissioner's sole discretion, may amend, narrow, or expand the definitions, description, specifications, and requirements of the wind resistive devices.

(c) In addition, a grant may be made to an applicant only if the applicant:

(1) Has met the descriptions, specifications, guidelines, and requirements established by the commissioner for the grant program;

(2) Has filed a completed application form, as determined solely by the commissioner, together with all supporting documentation required by the commissioner;

(3) Has, in the case of a building with multiple dwellings, filed together completed grant applications for all dwellings in the building;

(4) Has installed a wind resistive device or devices that have been designated and approved by the commissioner;

(5) Has fully paid, prior to applying for the grant, the cost of the wind resistive device or devices, as well as the installation and inspection costs for which the grant is sought. The grant shall be used to reimburse only these costs or a portion thereof;

(6) Has hired an inspector, determined by the commissioner to be qualified in accordance with the requirements of the commissioner, who has verified in writing that the installation of the wind resistive device or devices is complete and is in compliance with the grant program specifications, guidelines, and requirements, as determined by the commissioner;

(7) Has installed the wind resistive device or devices after July 1, 2002;

(8) Has provided any other information deemed necessary by the commissioner; and

(9) Has met all additional requirements needed to implement the grant program as determined by the commissioner.

(d) Moneys appropriated for the grant program may be used to pay for the costs of administering, operating, and marketing the grant program, as determined by the commissioner."

SECTION 3. Chapter 431P, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"431P-    Transfer of funds; immunity. There shall be no cause of action, claim for damages or relief, charge, or any other liability of any kind whatsoever created against the State, the fund, the commissioner, or their respective agents, employees, or board, by, or relating to, the transfer of any moneys from the hurricane reserve trust fund to the loss mitigation grant fund or from the loss mitigation grant fund to the hurricane reserve trust fund or involving the loss mitigation grant program."

SECTION 4. Section 431P-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (i) to read as follows:

"(i) [Solely] Moneys in the hurricane reserve trust fund may be:

(1) Disbursed upon dissolution of the Hawaii hurricane relief fund[, the]; provided that:

(A) The net moneys in the hurricane reserve trust fund shall revert to the state general fund[,] after [any] payments by the fund on behalf of licensed property and casualty insurers or the State that are required to be made pursuant to any federal disaster insurance program enacted to provide insurance or reinsurance for hurricane risks[. In the event] are completed; and

(B) If such moneys are paid on behalf of licensed property and casualty insurers, payment shall be made in proportion to the premiums from policies of hurricane property insurance serviced by the insurers in the twelve months prior to dissolution of the fund[.]; or

(2) Deposited to the loss mitigation grant fund established under section 431: 102."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 to be deposited into the loss mitigation grant fund.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the loss mitigation grant fund the sum of $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and $10,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, to develop and implement the grant program established under this Act. The sums appropriated shall be expended by the insurance commissioner for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.