STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2755

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2315

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2315, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO JURY DUTY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to exempt from jury duty mothers who breastfeed or express breast milk; provided that this exemption shall end when a mother is no longer breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, American Association of University Women of Hawaii, Hawaii Women's Coalition, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii, Hawaii Women Lawyers, Breastfeeding Hawaii, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Judiciary.

 

Your Committee finds that breastfeeding has been shown to be beneficial for mothers and their infants. However, for many mothers, breastfeeding can be difficult to begin and hard to maintain. Multiple barriers also exist for women who wish to continue breastfeeding. Your Committee further finds that jury duty can be burdensome to breastfeeding mothers, as mother-child separation creates a serious challenge to continued breastfeeding. Women who serve on a jury may also lack access to a clean, private space to express breast milk. Your Committee additionally finds that supportive policies can help women continue breastfeeding. The jury duty exemption for breastfeeding mothers, as proposed by this measure, is one such policy that can support and benefit breastfeeding mothers and their children.

 

Your Committee notes the comments in testimony submitted by the Judiciary that, upon request, breastfeeding mothers may be exempt from jury duty for one calendar year and the Judiciary ensures that private, designated spaces and times are provided for breastfeeding mothers. However, this provision for breastfeeding mothers is not widely known or communicated. Your Committee further notes that the Judiciary is in the process of reviewing information on the Judiciary's website and written information mailed to potential jurors in order to revise information and forms, as appropriate, to clearly communicate information to breastfeeding mothers.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2315, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2315, S.D. 2.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair