Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 671

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Higher Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 671 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to exempt students in post-secondary education programs from immunization requirements if they attend classes exclusively online or through distance learning.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System, Department of Health, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Hawaii For Informed Consent and one individual.


Your Committee finds that colleges and universities are increasing the number of courses and programs offered online. Because methods of educational delivery are changing, certain requirements that have been traditionally imposed on students, such as immunizations, may not always apply in the same manner as they do for traditional classroom instruction. Your Committee further finds that the Department of Health is currently proposing a rule change to exempt post-secondary students in online or distance-learning programs who do not attend classes in person from the current immunization requirements. However, the proposed rule change may not be adopted in time for the fall 2019 classes. This measure provides an exemption for those students immediately and without the proposed rule change by the Department of Health.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Making the exemption regarding immunization requirements permanent by deleting language that would have repealed this measure upon the adoption of amendments to the administrative rules by the Department of Health; and


(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Higher Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 671, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 671, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Higher Education,