Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 679

       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. 679, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to establish procedures for the Governor to declare a tourism emergency and to establish a Tourism Emergency Trust Fund.


     Specifically, this measure provides that, in the event that a statewide tourism emergency is declared, the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority would have the authority, to implement tourism emergency measures.  In addition, a Tourism Emergency Trust Fund is created to be used exclusively to provide for the development and implementation of emergency measures to respond to and mitigate any adverse effects on the tourism industry that may result from a substantial interruption of Hawaii's commerce.


     The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce submitted comments in support of this measure.


     Your Committee finds that a world conflict, terrorism, natural disaster, or disease outbreak can pose a substantial economic threat to Hawaii's tourism industry.  Because tourism is the main economic driver in the State's economy, the effects of a tourism disruption would ripple across all of the main industries in the State.  This measure would create a method to help mitigate the economic effects of a tourism emergency.


     Your Committee further finds that the tourism emergency plan should also include providing emergency assistance to tourists who may be in Hawaii at the time of the emergency.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Clarifying that the measures implemented in response to a tourism emergency include providing emergency assistance to tourists in Hawaii during the emergency period;


(2)  Changing the date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and


(3)  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. 679, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 679, S.D. 2.


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