Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2017


RE:   H.B. No. 426

      H.D. 1





Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Higher Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 426 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to authorize the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii to make certain policy decisions at open public meetings pursuant to chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, instead of through the administrative rulemaking procedures established under chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  


     The University of Hawaii and two individuals provided testimony in support of this measure.  The League of Women Voters of Hawaii provided testimony in opposition to this measure.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment Committee and Common Cause Hawaii provided comments.


     Your Committee finds that formal meetings of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii are subject to the open public meeting requirements of chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Additionally, the Board of Regents is currently required to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for various programs and operations related to the internal structure, management, and operation of the University's campuses.  Conversely, many state agencies issue policies concerning internal management without having to adopt administrative rules.  Your Committee recognizes that the rule adoption process of chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is more onerous and time-consuming than the open public meeting process of chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Your Committee believes that it would be more efficient and better serve the University's students, faculty, and staff if the Board of Regents could streamline the process by which such decisions are made.  Accordingly, your Committee finds that allowing the Board of Regents to follow the open public meeting process of chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for matters internal to the University, instead of complying with the requirements of chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, will balance the need for transparency and accountability with efficient management of the University.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Inserting language to expressly retain existing rules until the Board of Regents repeals or replaces the rules with policies adopted in accordance with this measure; and


(2)  Making technical nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style. 


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 426, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 426, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Higher Education,