Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1229

       S.D. 2




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2007

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 1229, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to deter copper theft by requiring scrap dealers to include a thumbprint in the required identification statement of all persons redeeming copper and to establish a copper redemption database.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney.  Written comments in opposition were received from Reynolds Recycling.  Written comments were received from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).


     Your Committee finds that the recent increase in prices for scrap metal such as copper has caused a spate of copper thefts in the State.  Recent thefts are costing resident taxpayers, public utility companies, private companies, and state entities significant income to replace the copper that is stolen and to repair the damage caused by these thefts.  As a result, copper theft has become a serious and rapidly growing crime.


     This new type of theft has devastating effects on the entire community, not just utility companies, businesses, and government agencies.  It causes phone outages, power outages, and rising construction costs.  The cost of the stolen copper is often only a small percentage of the victims' loss.  Criminal copper scavengers can cost a homeowner up to $40,000 or more in damage to their home for copper that will net the criminal approximately $1,000.


     The intent of this measure is to deter copper theft by placing stricter restrictions on the acceptance of copper by scrap dealers.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Requiring scrap metal dealers to maintain a record of transactions in copper, similar to pawnbrokers for articles, on the recommendation of the DCCA, and to forthwith transmit by email or facsimile to the county police the police-approved form of the record of information on the copper transaction;


     (2)  Deleting the copper redemption database, on recommendation of the DCCA, and deleting the appropriation to the DCCA accordingly;


     (3)  Changing the effective date to upon approval; and


     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity and style.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1229, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1229, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,