STAND. COM. REP. NO.2761
RE: S.B. No. 2779
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 S.B. No. 2779, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CONTROL OF DISEASE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to enable the Department of Health to respond rapidly and efficiently to emerging health problems before they become catastrophic health emergencies.
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Health (DOH) and Health Care Association of Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that current law grants the DOH all the powers needed to deal with a health emergency which has been declared a disaster by the Governor. However, your Committee acknowledges that there are gaps in the DOH's authority to deal with serious and potential catastrophic situations before they reach that stage. This measure would:
(1) Enable the DOH to form partnerships with the private sector to plan for and deliver services under circumstances where our existing resources are inadequate;
(2) Update and reform our statute on quarantine to provide due process protections for individuals the Department might seek to isolate from the public;
(3) Allow the DOH to sequester or isolate contaminated items or material to protect the public from toxic or infectious substances; and
(4) Enable disease investigators to obtain critical information to determine the cause and limit the impact of disease outbreak.
Your Committee finds that in light of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the potential threat of bio-terrorism, this measure is needed to ensure the safety of our citizens.
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 S.B. No. 2779, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
BRIAN KANNO, Chair