June 20, 2003


Honorable Members

Twenty-Second Legislature

State of Hawaii

Pursuant to Section 16 of Article III of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, I am returning herewith, without my approval, House Bill No. 1003, entitled "A Bill for an Act Relating to Crime Victim Compensation."

The purpose of this bill is to assist the Crime Victim Compensation Commission (CVCC) by doing the following: (1) allowing the CVCC to transfer a minorís compensation award to an appropriate custodian for the minorís benefit under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act; (2) allowing compensation (a) for mental health services to children or elderly individuals who witness a crime, and (b) to surviving relatives of victims of sexual assault and death; (3) renaming the award for "pain and suffering" as the award for an "acknowledgment of harm"; (4) authorizing the CVCC to hire new employees without regard to civil service; (5) requiring the Judiciary to provide information demonstrating compliance with section 351-62.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and (6) escheating any unclaimed victim restitution moneys to the CVCC special fund after public notice.

Although there are several positive aspects to this bill, the bill is objectionable because the removal of civil service protection is unnecessary and because funds should not escheat to the CVCC when the CVCC is the organization currently responsible for locating victims.

This bill removes civil service protections from new staff at the CVCC. No sufficient justification has been provided to demonstrate the need for these workers to be exempt from the civil service.

Furthermore, the CVCC is currently responsible for locating and paying victims. Under this bill, if the CVCC does not locate the victim, the restitution funds escheat to the CVCC special fund. Accordingly, this bill would appear to create a financial incentive for the CVCC when victims are not found. Laws that create such perceptions of government do not serve to restore trust and integrity in government.

The positive parts of this bill may and should be passed next year.

For the foregoing reasons, I am returning House Bill No. 1003 without my approval.





Governor of Hawaii