Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 796

       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. 796, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to ensure that the State is prepared for natural disasters and other catastrophic occurrences.


     Specifically, this measure:


     (1)  Authorizes general obligation bonds to fund the installation of additional sirens to the State Civil Defense Warning System;


     (2)  Permits 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;


     (3)  Appropriates funds for:


          (A)  Emergency supply caches;


          (B)  The State Civil Defense Major Disaster Fund;


          (C)  Non-declared disaster activation and response; and


          (D)  The Ethnic Education Foundation of Hawaii to assist them in disseminating information in the event of a disaster.


     The National Federation of Filipino American Associations; the Filipino Coalition for Solidarity; Nursing, Advocates and Mentors, Inc.; the Philippine Nurses Association‑Hawaii; the Congress of Visayan Organizations; and one individual submitted written comments in support of this measure.  The Department of Budget and Finance, and the Department of Defense submitted written comments.


     Your Committee finds that while the State and private agencies have made great strides in becoming capable of responding to a tsunami or hurricane disaster, more resources are needed to upgrade equipment and decrease coverage gaps in the existing warning systems.  Your Committee further finds that it is important to ensure that victims of natural disasters receive prompt emergency relief after a natural disaster.  It is also imperative that statewide dissemination of information is provided in a format that is accessible and understandable by everyone.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Inserting language from S.B. No. 794, making an appropriation for the State Civil Defense Emergency Supply Program, to effectively equip emergency shelters in order to support special needs populations and to maintain the development of the emergency supply program;


     (2)  Changing all of the appropriation amounts to blank amounts for purposes of further discussion;


     (3)  Authorizing the Governor to provide grants of emergency assistance up to a blank dollar amount for a blank percentage of uninsured damages after a natural disaster;


     (4)  Making clarifying technical amendments to section 328L‑3(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, to enable 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 for the purposes of paragraph (3); and


     (5)  Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for the purposes of clarity, consistency, 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. 796, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 796, S.D. 2.


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