Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 273

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Human Services and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 273 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to assist homeless persons with obtaining an identification card by allowing the examiner of drivers to accept a sworn statement from a victim services organization, attorney, member of the clergy, or medical or health professional as documentary evidence of a homeless person's address, date and place of birth, occupation, or social security number.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the County of Kauai Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, IMUAlliance, Hawaii Youth Services Network, Hawaiian Hope, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Children's Law Center, and twenty-four individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Transportation.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee finds that houseless citizens in Hawaii face daunting and sometimes insurmountable barriers to obtaining valid identification.  Valid identification is necessary to obtain and maintain certain financial and nonfinancial benefits, housing, employment, medication, and other life essentials.  Your Committee further finds that while individuals may find themselves without proper identification due to fleeing domestic violence, losing personal belongings, or their identification being expired, the homeless population in Honolulu routinely lose their identification documents as the result of city-run sweeps on homeless encampments in which documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, state identification cards, driver's licenses, and marriage licenses are confiscated and destroyed.


     Your Committee has heard the testimony of the Department of Transportation expressing concern that it will violate the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 and jeopardize Hawaii's compliance certification issued by the Department of Homeland Security if the examiner of drivers were to accept sworn statements from the proposed professionals in this measure as documentation of identifying information.  Your Committee finds that while this issue merits further consideration, a solution needs to be found that allows individuals to obtain identification in a realistic and reasonable manner.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Inserting language to include correctional institution staff in the group of professionals from whom a sworn statement may be accepted to verify a person's address, date and place of birth, occupation, or social security number for the purposes of obtaining an identification card; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services and Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 273, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 273, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Transportation.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services and Housing,