STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2519
RE: S.B. No. 2870
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2870 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INFORMATION PRACTICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to allow public inspection and duplication of salary ranges, rather than exact compensation, for legislative employees.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, and League of Women Voters. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices.
Your Committee finds that tax payers want to know how and where their tax dollars are being spent and therefore government must be held accountable and demonstrate transparency; however, employees are entitled to a measure of privacy, and publishing any employee's exact dollar amount of salary does not adequately capture the State's expenses.
Your Committee acknowledges that this measure is a work in progress and notes that while it is important for tax payers to know the exact compensation of high salary government employees, lower wage government employees should be afforded basic privacy and respect in doing their jobs. Furthermore, availability of a government employee's exact compensation may lead to greater pay disparity if future employers base salary offers on employees' former government salaries. As this measure moves forward, proponents of the bill should consider the issues and suggestions heard in the testimony provided and work to find a balanced solution that achieves the outcomes they are seeking.
Your Committee has taken the amendments put forth by the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest and amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that salary ranges within $15,000 for legislative employees shall be made available for public inspection and duplication;
(2) Deleting legislative officers as defined by section 88‑21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and legislative service agency directors and officers as defined by section 21E‑1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, from the definition of "legislative employees" but specifying that non-managerial employees of legislative service agencies as defined by section 21E-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are included within that definition; 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 Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2870, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2870, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair