THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO HOUSING SAVINGS ACCOUNTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
Housing savings account
§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Board" means the housing savings account board.
"Employee" means any person who is on the employer's payroll and works in a full-time or part-time position. The term "employee" includes any person who is entitled to payment of a minimum wage from an employer under the Hawaii minimum wage law.
"Employer" means any individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, corporation, the personal representative of the estate of a deceased individual or the receiver, trustee, or successor of any of the same, employing any person.
§ -2 Housing savings account system; established. There shall be established a housing savings account system. It shall have the powers and privileges of a corporation and shall be known as the "Housing Savings Account System" and by that name may sue or be sued, transact all of its business, invest all of its funds, and hold all of its cash and securities, and other property.
§ -3 General administration of the system. The general administration and responsibility for the proper operation of the housing savings account system and for making effective the provisions of this chapter are vested in the board.
§ -4 Housing savings account board. (a) There is established within the department of budget and finance for administrative purposes the housing savings account board. The board shall consist of eight members as follows:
(1) The director of finance or the director's designee, who shall serve as chairperson of the board;
(2) The director of human services or the director's designee;
(3) The director of commerce and consumer affairs or the director's designee;
(4) A representative of employers, to be appointed by the governor;
(5) A representative with experience in the field of investments, to be appointed by the governor;
(6) A representative of an association representing employees, to be appointed by the governor;
(7) A member of the senate, to be appointed by the president of the senate, who shall be a nonvoting advisory member of the board; and
(8) A member of the house of representatives, to be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall be a nonvoting advisory member of the board.
(b) Members of the board appointed by the governor shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate.
(c) The term of office of each member of the board appointed by the governor shall be four years and shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. The member of the senate shall serve at the pleasure of the president of the senate. The member of the house of representatives shall serve at the pleasure of the speaker of the house of representative. A member shall be eligible for reappointment. Members pursuant to subsection (a)(1) through (6) shall serve in an ex officio capacity.
(d) If there is a vacancy for any reason, the governor shall make an appointment to become effective immediately for the unexpired term.
(e) A majority of the voting members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(f) The members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for travel and other necessary expenses in the performance of their official duties.
(g) The board may employ, without regard to chapter 76, staff necessary for the performance of its functions and fix their compensation.
(h) The board may establish rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the general administration of this chapter.
§ -5 Housing savings account; established; employer participation. (a) Each employer in the State shall offer to its employees the opportunity to contribute to a housing savings account through payroll deduction.
(b) An employer in the State may match an employee's contribution into each employee's housing savings account.
(c) Funds contributed into a housing savings account shall not be exempt from chapter 235 and shall not receive any additional tax benefits.
(d) Funds contributed into a housing savings account may be used for any purpose, including but not limited to:
(2) Mortgage payments;
(3) Rent; or
(4) Security deposits.
An employee may withdraw funds from their housing savings account at any time without any penalty.
§ -6 Enrollment. Each employer shall enroll every employee who enters or reenters employment with the employer and who accepts participation in the employee's housing savings account and shall file with the board information as the board may require for the employee's housing savings account for the employee for enrollment and for administrative purposes.
§ -7 Employee contributions. (a) Each employee in the State shall automatically contribute to a housing savings account; provided that an employee may elect to opt out of contributing to a housing savings account at any time.
(b) The default contribution rate each employee in the State contributes into their individual housing savings account shall be five per cent of the employee's compensation; provided that an employee may elect to contribute a different amount on a form to be developed by the employer."
SECTION 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Housing Savings Account
Establishes the procedures for a housing savings account for all employees in the State. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.