STAND. COM. REP. NO.2961
RE: H.B. No. 2563
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 2563, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COMPENSATION OF CRIME VICTIMS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to increase the allowable compensation awarded to crime victims for medical expenses.
Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Crime Victim Compensation Commission (Commission), Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney, and an individual.
This measure provides that for compensable medical expenses in excess of the compensation award ceiling of $10,000, the maximum award is limited to $20,000.
Your Committee finds that the vast majority of states have higher compensation award ceilings: these range from $15,000 to a high of $150,000 in Washington State, with no statutory ceiling imposed in New York. In contrast, only eight states, including Hawaii, have a $10,000 award ceiling. Your Committee believes that the State's present compensation award ceiling of $10,000 is woefully inadequate to address cases involving catastrophic medical care and should be raised in cases involving compensable medical expenses that are in excess of $10,000.
Your Committee has amended this measure by deleting its contents and inserting S.B. No. 2821, S.D. 1, a companion measure, which:
(1) Clarifies that the award is the lower of $20,000 or the actual compensable medical expenses if the compensable medical expenses are in excess of $10,000; and
(2) Clarifies that in determining the amount of compensable medical expense to be awarded, the Commission is required to deduct amounts or benefits as provided under section 351-63, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Your Committee also corrected the numbering of sections in the bill.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2563, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2563, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
BRIAN KANNO, Chair