STAND. COM. REP. NO. 215

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1156

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 1156 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MOVIE THEATERS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to remove the sunset date of Act 39, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, thereby making permanent the requirements for a public accommodation that owns, leases, leases to, or operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the State to provide open movie captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced and offered with open movie captioning and audio descriptions upon request for all motion pictures for which such accommodations are available and provide public notice if such accommodations are not available for certain movies.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Disability and Communication Access Board, Aloha State Association of the Deaf, and over two hundred individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.

 

Your Committee finds that Act 39, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015 (Act 39), requires a public accommodation that owns, leases, leases to, or operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the State to provide open movie captioning and audio descriptions upon request. Act 39 was intended to improve accessibility and address the discriminatory effects of communication barriers at movie theaters encountered by individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf blind, or blind or have low vision. According to testimony received by your Committee, open movie captioning has enabled deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind consumers to enjoy movies in a similar manner as those who do not require open movie captioning.

 

Your Committee further finds that Act 39 is scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2018. This measure removes the sunset date of Act 39, thus making permanent the motion picture accommodation requirements for Hawaii movie theaters. Your Committee notes that the accessibility requirements in Act 39 go beyond those specified in the recently-adopted United States Department of Justice final rules for movie theaters, which only provide for closed captioning. Removing the sunset date of Act 39 therefore ensures that Hawaii continues to support full access for persons with disabilities and meaningful accessibility requirements for movie theaters, even after the federal rules have gone into effect.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1156 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary and Labor.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,

 

 

 

________________________________

ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair