STAND. COM. REP. NO.723-02
RE: S.B. No. 2760
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2760, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MARRIAGE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to:
(1) Increase the fee for marriage licenses from $50 to $60;
(2) Remit $10 for each license issued to the credit of the Hawaii Birth Defects Special Fund, if it is established;
(3) Require officiants to renew their licenses every five years;
(4) Eliminate the requirement that the application for a marriage license be submitted in writing, to allow the Department of Health (DOH) to pursue other means of application such as online; and
(5) Require marriage officiants to apply for a license through DOH and submit a fee and allow DOH to publicly list the officiants.
DOH, the Hawaii Birth Defects Program Advisory Committee, March of Dimes Hawaii Chapter, and several individuals testified in support of this measure. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor supported the intent of this measure.
The City Church of Honolulu opposed this measure. Several concerned individuals submitted comments.
Your Committee finds that the cost of a marriage license in Hawaii is very reasonable and comparable with that of other states. Tens of thousands of couples come to Hawaii from other parts of the world to get married, spending thousands of dollars on wedding and other expenses.
Your Committee held a healthy discussion during the hearing with DOH and several wedding solemnizers who agreed that every attempt should be made to streamline the marriage process, particularly for those who come from out-of-state. Your Committee would like to emphasize several points that came from that discussion that requested DOH to:
(1) Find methods to expedite the licensing procedure, such as accepting electronic filing in advance of the couple's arrival to Hawaii;
(2) Explore the possibility of opening branches of licensing, such as Waikiki, where many visiting couples stay, and to explore the possibility of a partnership with HVB in operating a marriage licensing branch; and
(3) In providing the list of licensed solemnizers, consider listing the credentials of the officiant to preserve the integrity of the profession and allow couples to make a more educated choice.
Your Committee has amended this bill by:
(1) Increasing the licensing fee to $65 to allow $5 to be credited to the Vital Statistics Improvement Special Fund;
(2) Requiring officiants to renew their licenses every two years;
(3) Removing the fee for the license to perform marriage ceremonies;
(4) Allowing DOH to retain the authority to allow marriage licensing agents to issue licenses from any state facility; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2760, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2760, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
DENNIS A. ARAKAKI, Chair