Report Title:

Disaster Relief; Emergency Powers; Clarification

 

Description:

Activates provisions of the State's disaster relief law to apply to emergencies, except for enemy attack. Clarifies the use of the governor's emergency powers in response to a natural or manmade disaster. Limits the governor's powers to provide disaster relief or the length of time that the governor may provide disaster relief in specific circumstances without legislative authorization. States that, in certain cases, emergency powers in force prior to the effective date of this measure expire at the end of the 2008 regular session unless reauthorized by the legislature. (SB2828 SD2)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2828

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO DISASTER RELIEF.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 127-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"127-2 Disaster relief agency. (a) There shall be within the executive branch of the state government a division of disaster relief, hereinafter called the "disaster relief agency". The director of disaster relief, hereinafter called the "director", who shall be appointed and removed in the manner provided by section 26-34, and who shall receive such compensation as the governor may determine, shall be in charge of the disaster relief agency.

(b) There shall be a vice-director of disaster relief who shall be appointed by the director. The vice-director shall be the chief administrative assistant to the director and shall, in the absence of the director, have all the duties and responsibilities of the director.

(c) [The director shall, with the approval of the county council, appoint a deputy director for each political subdivision. Deputy directors shall serve without pay. They may hold other office or employment in the state government, or any political subdivision.

(d)] The director may employ such technical, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel and may make such expenditures as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

[(e)] (d) The director shall be responsible for formulating and carrying out programs for disaster relief. The director shall coordinate the activities of all organizations for disaster relief, public or private, and shall cooperate with state and federal disaster relief agencies. The director shall be responsible for carrying out this chapter and in the event of disaster beyond local control the director may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the disaster relief functions within the State.

(e) For the purposes of this chapter, the "disaster relief agency" and the "director of disaster relief" shall be the civil defense agency and the director of civil defense described in section 128-3, respectively."

SECTION 2. Section 127-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"127-10 Disaster relief [during suspension of preceding sections.] for disasters not caused by enemy attacks. [During any period in which sections] (a) Sections 127-1 to 127-9 [are not] shall be in effect[,] and available to provide relief for disasters not covered under chapter 128, and the governor and political subdivisions may exercise any and all of their powers [that relate to disasters resulting from enemy attacks,] authorized under this chapter in order to provide other disaster relief. All provisions of law that relate to disasters resulting from enemy attacks during such period are made applicable to other disaster relief, including without limitation, provisions making or authorizing appropriations or expenditures[.]; provided that, in order to exercise the powers authorized under this chapter and chapter 128 for disasters that are not caused by:

(1) A fire, flood, tidal wave, volcanic eruption, earthquake, pandemic illness, or other natural causes and major disasters caused by acts of man, including but not limited to massive oil spills, nuclear accidents, airplane crashes, and civil disturbances; or

(2) An enemy attack or act of terrorism,

the governor shall first find and declare through an emergency proclamation that tangible and measurable harm or damage has resulted or is about to result as a consequence of the disaster and that the disaster relief could not otherwise be achieved through legislation enacted in the next occurring regular session of the legislature or a special session of the legislature called by the governor for the purpose of providing for the relief. If disaster relief can be achieved through legislation enacted in the next occurring regular session of the legislature or a special session of the legislature called by the governor for the purpose of providing for the relief, then the governor shall not execute any action to further provide for disaster relief under this chapter.

(b) Any disaster relief provided under this chapter other than those enumerated in subsection (a)(1) and (2) shall not extend beyond the adjournment sine die of the next occurring regular session of the legislature after the governor declares that the disaster relief is necessary, unless expressly authorized by the legislature through the adoption of a concurrent resolution or by the enactment of law. The governor shall submit a report on the governor's findings and recommendations on whether to extend the provision of any disaster relief provided under this chapter and any enabling proposed legislation or appropriations to authorize the continuance of any disaster relief provided. If the legislature does not adopt a concurrent resolution or enact legislation to execute or extend disaster relief, the governor shall not execute disaster relief actions under this chapter or extend the provision of disaster relief for a particular disaster beyond the adjournment sine die of the legislature during the session in which the legislation was considered.

As used in this section ["other]:

"Other disaster relief" means the preparation for and the carrying out of all functions, other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible, to minimize and repair injury and damage resulting from disasters caused by fire, flood, tidal wave, volcanic eruption, earthquake, or other natural causes and major disasters caused by acts of man, including but not limited to, massive oil spills, nuclear accidents, airplane crashes, and civil disturbances[.]; provided that the term does not include the remedying of periodic or longstanding societal inequities or circumstances that may arise over the course of time that could otherwise be contemplated and remedied through the enactment of law under the legislative process.

"Tangible and measurable harm or damage" means harm or damage that may occur in the immediate future or that has already occurred and that, unless immediately acted upon, would otherwise be irreparable, result in the imminent loss of life, or pose an immediate health or safety hazard to humans or the environment."

SECTION 3. Section 128-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"128-7 Civil defense emergency period. The term "civil defense emergency period" includes (1) a period of civil defense emergency proclaimed pursuant to the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, or (2) the period of the existence of a state of civil defense emergency in the State hereby authorized to be proclaimed by the governor if the governor finds that an attack upon the State has occurred or that there is danger or threat thereof, or that there has arisen any state of affairs or circumstances of such a grave nature as to affect the common defense or the readiness of the community to meet an attack, and which requires the invocation of provisions of this chapter that are effective only during a period of civil defense emergency. The governor shall be the sole judge of the existence of the danger, threat, state of affairs, or circumstances[.] during a civil defense emergency period. A [period of] civil defense emergency period proclaimed pursuant to the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 shall terminate as therein provided, and a period of civil defense emergency proclaimed by the governor shall terminate upon proclamation by the governor[.] unless otherwise provided by law."

SECTION 4. The emergency powers authorized and exercised under any emergency proclamation issued prior to the effective date of this Act that:

(1) Is still in full force and effect on the effective date of this Act;

(2) Purports to provide disaster relief in this State through the powers authorized under chapter 127 or 128, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

(3) Was not issued to:

(A) Establish drainage improvements to mitigate past, present, or future flood damage;

(B) Mitigate earthquake damage;

(C) Mitigate slope erosion;

(D) Effectuate emergency culvert repairs;

(E) Conduct emergency boat ramp dredging;

(F) Conduct emergency dam spillway repairs; or

(G) Conduct stream or river restoration and debris removal; and

(4) Is not in compliance with the provisions of this Act,

shall expire upon the effective date of this Act unless the legislature, by adoption of a concurrent resolution or enactment of law during the 2008 regular session, expressly reauthorizes those powers for the specific disaster relief action.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.