STAND. COM. REP. NO.  559

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2015

 

RE:   H.B. No. 290

      H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 290 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Judiciary for the fiscal biennium beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2017.

 

     The Judiciary testified in support of the bill and provided proposed amendments for consideration by the Committee.

 

The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii testified in support of restoring funding for legal services through Purchase of Service funds.

 

Domestic Violence Action Center testified in support of stable funding for domestic violence services.

 

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawaii; West Hawaii Bar Association; Hawaii State Bar Association; and several concerned individuals testified in support of the capital improvement project for the Kona Judiciary Complex.

 

Your Committee considered the request by the Judiciary for program appropriations and capital improvement projects.

 

Your Committee amended this measure to:

 

(1)  Provide funding for mediation, family law services, Children's Justice Center, adult and juvenile legal services, such as the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and Volunteer Legal Services, and domestic violence legal service providers, such as the Domestic Violence Action Center;

 

(2)  Increase the appropriation by 15 percent for the purchase of service contracts for fiscal year 2015-2016;

 

(3)  Reduce the number of new permanent positions from 75 to 22 new permanent positions in fiscal year 2015-2016 and to 24 positions in fiscal year 2016-2017; and

 

(4)  Eliminate six capital improvement project requests: Kaahumanu Hale Fire - Alarm Upgrade and Improvements; Kaahumanu Hale - Elevator Systems Upgrade and Modernization; Kaahumanu Hale - Basement Leak Repairs and Improvements; Kaneohe District Court Facility - Generator Back-up System; Kauikeaouli Hale - New Fire Suppression System for the Judiciary Central Data Center; and Kauai Judiciary Complex - Building Exterior Remedial Improvements.  

 

     Your Committee strongly supports the Kona Courthouse project.  However, it is concerned that the current budget constraints may limit the project's ability to plan for long-term energy efficiency.  Your Committee respectfully requests that the Committee on Finance together with the Judiciary:

 

(1)  Consider a larger appropriation to allow for the construction of a more energy efficient building that may be slightly more expensive to build, but will save the State money in the longrun;

 

(2)  Extend the date on which the $35,000,000 in funding provided in Act 133, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013 will lapse from June 30, 2016 to a later date; and

 

(3)  Consider an alternative to enable the project to be incrementally funded, but bid and contracted as a single request for proposal and contract, because not all funds will be expended in the first year.  

 

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 290, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 290, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair