STAND. COM. REP. NO. 851
RE: S.B. No. 701
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 701, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require any Hawaiian words or names included in public acts and transactions to be accurate, appropriate, and authentic;
(2) Require all newly created, replaced, or reprinted state and county documents, letterheads, symbols, and emblems to contain accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and words; and
(3) Clarify that the full text of bills and other official documents are not required to be written in Hawaiian and that misspelled or incorrectly punctuated Hawaiian words and names shall not invalidate the documents or render them unenforceable and no cause of action shall arise accordingly.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i.
Your Committee finds that the State has reaffirmed Hawaiian as one of its official languages since 1978, and the Legislature has supported efforts to incorporate the Hawaiian language into official state writings, emblems, and signs. Your Committee further finds that despite statutory recognition of the Hawaiian language as an official language of the State, the Governor vetoed House Bill No. 1984, S.D. 1, C.D. 1, Regular Session of 2012, relating to Hawaiian language, which would have strengthened the recognition and furthered the usage of Hawaiian in official documents. Your Committee additionally finds that the veto message indicated concerns about possible misspellings and misinterpretation of Hawaiian words and their effect on official documents. This measure will enhance the use of the Hawaiian language in official state documents while ensuring that Hawaiian words and names are as accurate, appropriate, and authentic as possible.
Your Committee has amended this measure by 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 Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 701, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 701, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair