STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3040
RE: H.B. No. 1907
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 1907, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SEXUAL ASSAULT,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish the Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Program, which requires:
(1) All law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault kits connected to a criminal investigation to an authorized laboratory for analysis subject to specified timelines and to report results of the analysis to state and federal databases, if the agency has received prior written consent from the complainant or parent or legal guardian of a minor complainant;
(2) Each law enforcement agency that obtains a sexual assault kit in connection with a criminal investigation to annually report to the Department of the Attorney General on the number of sexual assault kits in the custody of the Honolulu Police Department; and
(3) The police department of each county, the Department of Public Safety, and the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement to submit a report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2017 on their recommendations regarding the program, the number of kits collected statewide, and the progress on any backlog, and make the reports publicly available.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Democratic Women's Caucus, Honolulu Police Department, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Hawaii Women's Coalition, Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Joyful Heart Foundation, and fifteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kauai, and Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu.
Your Committee finds that evidence collected utilizing sexual assault kits should be analyzed and recorded within a reasonable time to ensure that the evidence is available to identify and prosecute perpetrators of sexual assaults, establish or eliminate possible connections between perpetrators and other crimes, and exonerate innocent defendants who are wrongfully accused. Your Committee further finds that sexual assailants are frequently serial offenders, and that testing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits could allow prosecution of previously unidentified sexual assailants. Your Committee notes that law enforcement professionals within the State who regularly process sexual assault kits have expressed concerns in their testimony that the measure as written would present enforcement difficulties.
Your Committee has amended this measure by replacing the original language of the measure with language provided by the testimony of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, which:
(1) Requires all law enforcement agencies and departments charged with maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault evidence collection kits to conduct an inventory of all kits being stored by the agency or department and transmit a report of the number of untested sexual assault evidence kits in each respective law enforcement agency and department's possession to the Department of the Attorney General;
(2) Requires the Department of the Attorney General to submit a report to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives containing the number of untested sexual assault evidence kits being stored and various information related to those kits; and
(3) Inserts an effective date of upon approval.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1907, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1907, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair