STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1364
RE: H.B. No. 1153
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred H.B. No. 1153, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO REMOTE TESTIMONY IN LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require each house of the Legislature to establish procedures and necessary information infrastructure for the public to present oral testimony at legislative committee hearings through remote testimony.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i, Disability and Communication Access Board, Common Cause Hawaii, Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Honolulu County Republican Party, and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that as an island state, Hawaii's geography and transportation challenges pose particular hardships for residents of the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui to actively participate in the legislative process via in-person testimony at committee hearings. Neighbor island residents who physically attend legislative committee hearings to testify on measures incur significant air travel, lodging, and other transportation costs, and often have to take time off from work. Your Committee recognizes that face-to-face public testimony can have a significant impact on legislators and the media and that enabling the public to provide live, real-time remote testimony will improve citizen participation in and public access to the legislative process. This measure will allow neighbor island residents and other residents who live far from the State Capitol to participate in committee hearings via remote testimony, which will promote equal access to the legislative process and encourage greater civic participation.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Establishing the remote legislative access program within the Legislature's public access program, to be supervised by the joint legislative access committee;
(2) Specifying requirements that the joint legislative access committee must consider when developing the remote legislative access program and requiring the committee to recommend policies for the program; 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 Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1153, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1153, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair