HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

493

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the state fire council.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. In 1979, the legislature abolished the state fire marshal's office and created the state fire council. The council, which is administratively attached to the department of labor and industrial relations, comprises the four county fire chiefs. The goal of the council is to develop and maintain a comprehensive fire service emergency management network for the protection of life, property, and the environment, throughout the State of Hawaii. The council is tasked with reviewing and adopting the state fire code, providing administrative oversight of the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program, providing assistance with the application and administration of federal grants for the fire service, assisting and coordinating with the statewide delivery of fire training programs, coordinating the collection of fire data, and supporting contingency planning needs for firefighters. The council may establish statewide qualifications for testing, certifying, and credentialing individuals who perform maintenance and testing of portable fire extinguishers, fire protection systems, and fire alarm systems. The council also advises the governor and legislature on matters relating to fire prevention, fire protection, and life safety. In addition, the council is a voting member of the state building code council, whose responsibilities are delineated in section 107-24, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

From its inception until 2001, the state fire council had no funding to hire staff to fulfill its responsibilities. The council relied upon county personnel to perform its duties. These county personnel had to perform these added duties alongside their normal functions within their respective fire departments. In 2001, the governor directed the department of labor and industrial relations to allocate $35,000 into its budget to fund the first part-time employee for the council. In 2011, an additional $71,000 was appropriated by the legislature to hire two additional personnel. The legislature finds that with money from the reduced ignition propensity cigarette special fund, the council could hire additional personnel to oversee the coordination of statewide fire data collection and analysis and to administer federal fire-related grants. The council would also be able to fund statewide educational efforts for the protection of life, property, and the environment, such as the firefighter safety guide program for Hawaii's youth and the residential smoke alarm installation program for Hawaii's at-risk senior population.

Hawaii enacted a reduced ignition propensity cigarette law, which took effect on September 30, 2009. The intent of this law, codified at section 132C-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is "to require that only reduced ignition propensity cigarettes be sold in the State". Section 132C-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, requires that cigarette manufacturers submit written certification attesting that each cigarette brand or style they wish to sell in Hawaii has been tested in accordance with the performance standard for reduced ignition propensity required under section 132C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes. These certifications must be renewed every three years. A fee of $375 must be paid to the state fire council for each cigarette brand or style certification. These fees are deposited into the reduced ignition propensity cigarette special fund. From 2009 through early 2014, this special fund was not utilized. On January 16, 2014, an administrative specialist was hired to help manage the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program. Wages for the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program administrator and other expenses directly attributed to the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program are paid for using money in the special fund.

The purpose of this Act to is to:

(1) Authorize the use of the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund to support the duties and responsibilities of the state fire council, in addition to administering and enforcing the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program; and

(2) Specify the testing procedures of the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program.

SECTION 2. Section 132C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) Testing performed or sponsored by the state fire council to determine a cigarette's compliance with the performance standard required by this section shall be conducted in accordance with this section. The following test process shall be followed by the state fire council:

(1) Twenty-five brand or style cigarette samples consisting of two packs per brand or style shall be selected by the state fire council for testing; provided that cigarettes shall be tested in accordance with the test method outlined in this section;

(2) Any brand or style test that has a failure rate of twenty-five per cent or greater shall be identified and designated for further testing; provided that the manufacturer shall be notified in writing of the failed brand or style test results;

(3) Forty packs of the failed brand or style cigarettes, consisting of two packs per test, shall be purchased and submitted for follow-up testing;

(4) If any of the follow-up tests has a failure rate of twenty-five per cent or greater, the manufacturer shall be informed of the second test failure and the failed brand or style cigarette shall be removed from sale in the State within thirty days from the date the notification of test failure is received;

(5) The manufacturer may file a written appeal to the state fire council no more than ten days after the notification of the second test failure is received, and the manufacturer shall provide written justification or evidence to support its appeal; and

(6) No later than thirty days after an appeal has been received, the state fire council shall conduct an administrative hearing and render a decision based on the written justification or evidence submitted by the manufacturer to support the appeal."

SECTION 3. Section 132C-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) The following civil penalties may be assessed:

(1) Against a manufacturer, wholesaler, or any other person or entity that knowingly sells cigarettes, except by licensed retail sales, in violation of section 132C-3, a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for each pack of cigarettes sold or offered for sale; provided that in no case shall the penalty exceed $100,000 during any thirty-day period;

(2) Against a manufacturer that knowingly makes a false certification pursuant to section 132C-4, a civil penalty of at least $75,000 and not to exceed $250,000 for each false certification;

(3) Against a dealer that knowingly sells or offers for sale cigarettes in violation of section 132C-3, a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for each pack of cigarettes sold or offered for sale; provided that in no case shall the penalty exceed $25,000 for sales or offers to sell during any thirty-day period; and

(4) Against any other person that violates this chapter, a civil penalty for a first offense not to exceed $1,000, and for a subsequent offense not to exceed $5,000 for each violation. Entities subject to this paragraph may include manufacturers whose brand or style cigarette has a failure rate of twenty-five per cent or greater after two successive failed tests."

2. By amending subsection (d) to read:

"(d) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the attorney general may file an action for a violation of this section, including petitioning for injunctive relief, recovery of costs or damages suffered by the State as the result of a violation of this section, including testing and enforcement costs relating to the specific violation and attorney fees. Each violation of this chapter or of any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter shall constitute a separate civil violation for which the attorney general may obtain relief."

SECTION 4. Section 132C-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]132C‑9[]]  Reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury a reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund, into which shall be deposited all moneys collected by the state fire council from the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program pursuant to section 132C-4. All interest earned or accrued on moneys deposited in the fund shall become part of the fund.

(b) Moneys in the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund shall be administered and expended by the state fire council to defray the actual cost of activities and requirements of section 132C-4, including employing [one full-time] a full- or part-time administrator [and one full-time], an administrative assistant [whose], or other staff personnel without regard to chapters 76 or 89. The duties of the administrator, administrative assistant, or other staff personnel shall include:

(1) Adopting administrative rules for program implementation, establishing compliance inspections, and approving forms and enforcement procedures and guidelines;

(2) Receiving certifications for approximately six hundred different brands and styles of cigarettes from the manufacturers;

(3) Compiling a list of the cigarette brands and styles for which manufacturers have submitted certifications, verifying tax stamp compliance with the department of the attorney general, and posting the list of certified brands and styles on a state website for informational purposes only;

(4) Reviewing and approving, as needed, any alternative test methods or fire standard compliance markings submitted by the manufacturer; and

(5) If needed, submitting certified cigarettes to an accredited laboratory for testing to verify that performance standards have been met.

(c) Money in the special fund may also be expended by the state fire council to:

(1) Defray the cost of community fire education, safety, and prevention programs, especially as they relate to youth and seniors;

(2) Preparedness and life safety programs; and

(3) Administrative duties of the state fire council, including the hiring of additional personnel."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

By Request


 


 

Report Title:

State Fire Council Package; Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarette Certification Fees; Cigarette Testing; Civil Penalties

 

Description:

Authorizes the State Fire Council to use moneys in the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program special fund to support the duties and responsibilities of the state fire council. Specifies the testing procedures of the reduced ignition propensity cigarette program. Provides that a manufacturer of cigarettes that fail certain testing may be subject to civil penalties.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.