STAND. COM. REP. NO.  1199


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2017


RE:   S.B. No. 655

      S.D. 2

      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 Public Safety, to which was referred S.B. No. 655, S.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to allow the news media to access closed emergency areas under certain circumstances.


Among other things, this measure:


(1)  Allows a duly authorized credentialed representative of any news service, newspaper, radio station, television station, or online news distribution network, under certain conditions, to enter an area closed pursuant to the emergency management powers of the Governor or Mayors;


(2)  Limits the liability of the State and counties arising from media representatives entering a closed emergency area; and


(3)  Specifies that the State, counties, and emergency management officials are not responsible for providing logistical support to news media accessing closed emergency areas.


     The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Department of Emergency Management of the City and County of Honolulu, Big Island Press Club, and The Maritime Group supported this measure.  The Hawaii Association for Justice opposed this measure.  The Department of Transportation offered comments.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by clarifying that media access shall be limited to duly authorized representatives of any news service, newspaper, radio station, television station, or online news distribution network.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 655, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 655, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety,