STAND. COM. REP. NO. 225
RE: S.B. No. 796
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2007
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 796 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CIVIL DEFENSE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds to add urgently needed civil defense siren warning systems throughout the State.
Your Committee appropriated $2,500,000 in each year of fiscal biennium 2007-2009, for the purpose of installing additional sirens to the state civil defense warning systems.
Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by the Department of Defense.
Your Committee finds that Hawaii is vulnerable to a tsumani or hurricane disaster and recognizes the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting its residents and guests from these disasters. In view of lessons learned from the 2004 tsunami in South East Asia and Hurricane Katrina in Florida in 2005, and because these natural disasters pose a great potential to cause vast devastation to Hawaii, the Legislature deems it vitally important to ensure that the State is adequately prepared to deal with these disasters. While the State and related private agencies have made great strides in becoming capable of handling a tsunami or hurricane disaster, more resources are needed to upgrade equipment and decrease coverage gaps in the existing warning systems.
To this end, this measure was amended by your Committee to consolidate other measures related to civil defense as follows:
(1) Senate Bill No. 86, which allows the Governor, upon the declaration of an emergency, to release up to ten per cent of the moneys appropriated from the Emergency and Budget Reserve Fund to provide assistance to residents and businesses that have sustained damage during or immediately after a natural disaster;
(2) Senate Bill No. 786, which appropriates $1,000,000 in each year of the 2007-2009 fiscal biennium for the Department of Defense to stock for emergency supply caches to support disaster victims and communities that may become isolated due to natural disasters;
(3) Senate Bill No. 788, which appropriates $1,500,000 in each year of the 2007-2009 biennium for the Department of Defense for the State Civil Defense Major Disaster Fund;
(4) Senate Bill No. 791, which appropriates $150,000 in each year of the 2007-2009 biennium for the Department of Defense for continued funding of non-declared disaster activation and response; and
(5) Senate Bill No. 1797, which appropriates a blank amount to the Ethnic Education Foundation of Hawaii to assist in disseminating information to the non-English speaking and English as a second language population in the event of a disaster or emergency to be expended by the Department of Defense.
The intent of your Committee, in consolidating these bills, is to provide necessary resources to prepare the State of Hawaii for disaster preparedness and recovery issues. Specifically, the intent is to authorize general obligation bonds to fund the installation of additional sirens to the State Civil Defense warning system; allow the Governor to order the release of up to ten per cent of moneys appropriated from interest earnings in the Emergency and Budget Reserve Fund to provide assistance after a natural disaster; appropriate moneys for emergency supply caches, to the State Civil Defense Major Disaster Fund for non-declared disaster activation and response; and appropriate moneys to the Ethnic Education Foundation of Hawaii to assist them in disseminating information in the event of a disaster.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 796, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 796, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair