STAND. COM. REP. NO. 350
RE: S.B. No. 1424
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 1424 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support best practices for an effective correctional system by:
(1) Establishing the Hawaii correctional system oversight commission; and
(2) Consolidating the reentry commission and corrections population management commission into the Hawaii correctional system oversight commission and transferring the rights, powers, functions, and duties of the consolidated commissions to the Hawaii correctional system oversight commission.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Public Safety, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and four individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.
Your Committees find that an increasing number of states are calling for independent oversight of their correctional systems, with at least eight states already having established independent oversight mechanisms to monitor and improve their correctional systems. Your Committees believe that independent oversight of the State's correctional system ensures personnel and fiscal accountability, supports safe conditions for employees, inmates, and detainees, and provides positive reform to a rehabilitative and therapeutic correctional system.
Your Committees further find that the reentry commission and the correctional population management commission have overlapping responsibilities and therefore consolidating the commissions into a single, independent oversight commission led by an oversight coordinator and guided by an experienced group of commission members will promote efficiency and provide greater opportunities for member participation.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting language that would have authorized the commission to hold public meetings and executive meetings closed to the public for certain purposes;
(2) Deleting language would have authorized the oversight coordinator to conduct background checks of prospective employees and consider in all employment decisions the sensitive nature of the commission's operation;
(3) Deleting language that would have allowed civil service positions of the reentry commission to retain their civil service status upon transfer to the Hawaii correctional system oversight commission;
(4) Deleting language that would have transferred personal property of the corrections population management commission to the Hawaii correctional system oversight commission; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1424, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1424, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Government Operations,
LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair