STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2812

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 62

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Technology and Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 62, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TECHNOLOGY,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Legislature, state departments, and boards and commissions to livestream its public hearings and develop procedures for receiving remote testimony.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, Hawaii Advocates For Consumer Rights, Common Cause Hawaii, Pono Hawaii Initiative, Indivisible Hawaii, and six individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Employees' Retirement System. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of the Governor, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Information Practices, Disability and Communication Access Board, Hawaii Paroling Authority, Office of Planning, Hawaii Community Development Authority, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, Department of Planning and Permitting of the City and County of Honolulu, and Office of the County Clerk for the County of Hawaii.

 

Your Committees find that the public plays an important role in the decision-making process by participating as testifiers and holding elected officials, state department directors, and members of boards and commissions accountable for their decisions. Currently, the opportunity to view public hearings and meetings for many individuals is out of reach either because of financial constraints, physical limitations, or geographic barriers. A number of states provide livestreaming and archived videos of all public meetings held in their respective capitol buildings on public websites available to all. In this technological age, Hawaii should provide livestreaming of all such hearings so that the greatest number of Hawaii residents can view and thereby participate in the legislative process. Without access to these public hearings and meetings, Hawaii constituents are less informed and deprived of full participation in the decision-making process.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Deleting language that would have required the Legislature to livestream all public hearings and establish procedures to enable receiving remote testimony;

 

(2) Inserting language that requires state departments and boards and commissions to commence livestreaming by January 1, 2023;

 

(3) Changing references to "public hearings" to "meetings";

 

(4) Inserting language that requires notice of all meetings by state departments and boards and commission via social media;

 

(5) Clarifying that the livestreaming requirements do not apply to county entities;

 

(6) Inserting language that establishes a pilot program for livestreaming that requires the Board of Agriculture, Board of Land and Natural Resources, and Hawaiian Homes Commission to livestream all meetings; and

 

(7) 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 Technology and Government Operations that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 62, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 62, S.D. 2, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Technology and Government Operations,

 

________________________________

LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair

 

________________________________

JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair