Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 562

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 562 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to make permanent the limited liability protection established under Act 170, Session Laws of Hawaii 2002, as amended, for county lifeguards and counties providing lifeguard services on beaches or in the ocean.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii State Association of Counties, Maui County Council, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Drowning Prevention and Aquatic Injury Steering Committee of the Injury Prevention Advisory Committee, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, and twenty-two individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Association for Justice.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee finds that providing lifeguard services at beaches and in the ocean is vital to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  Because the threat of potential tort liability made some counties reluctant to provide lifeguard services at some beaches, the Legislature provided limited tort liability protection for county lifeguards and counties providing lifeguard services on beaches or in the ocean until June 30, 2017, except in cases of gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Extending the sunset date to June 30, 2021, rather than repealing it;


     (2)  Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and


     (3)  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 Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 562, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 562, S.D. 1.


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