STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2363
RE: S.B. No. 2084
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Education and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2084 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATED TO LIMITED LIABILITY,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to limit the liability of educational officers and teachers who provide services to exceptional children and members of the plaintiff class under the Felix consent decree.
Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Department of Education and the Hawaii Government Employees Association, HGEA/AFSCME, Local 152, AFL-CIO. Testimony opposing this measure was received from the Disability and Communication Access Board.
Your Committees find educational officers and teachers provide valuable and needed services for Hawaii's exceptional children. However, many find themselves vulnerable to personal legal actions for doing their job. As a result, current and potential educational officers and teachers may decide not to expose themselves to possible personal legal liability and forego a career in special education. This measure limits their liability and allows educational officers and teachers to help Hawaii's exceptional children without fear of legal action.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Replacing the term "exceptional children" throughout chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, with the term "children with disability" and a more appropriate definition in response to the sensitivity concerns raised by the testimony of the Disability and Communication Access Board. Your Committees, however, understand that the definition provided by this measure should undergo further scrutiny during the legislative process to ensure consistency with applicable federal and state laws;
(2) Affording "classified personnel" the same limited liability provided to educational officers and teachers by this measure;
(3) Defining "classified personnel" as persons that provide direct educational assistance to students under the direction of teacher or provide professional services to children with a disability;
(4) Specifying that suits against educational officers, classified personnel, or teachers may only be brought against the departments of education and health, except for suits claiming gross negligence;
(5) Clarifying that the limited liability applies to educational officers, classified personnel, and teachers who provide services to children with a disability and members of the plaintiff class under the Felix consent decree; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of style and clarity.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2084, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2084, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Judiciary,
BRIAN KANNO, Chair
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair