THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

642

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HAWAIIAN AS AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII.

 

 

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

 


MAHELE 1. Ma ka Aha Elele Hana Kumukānāwai o Hawaii i ka makahiki 1978, ua hoolale ke Kōmike Kuleana Hawaii he hoololi ōlelo pākui i hoopaa ia ma ka Paukū XV, 4 o ke Kumukānāwai o ka Mokuāina o Hawaii, o ka ōlelo Hawaii, he ōlelo kūhelu o ka Mokuāina o Hawaii. Ua manao ke Kōmike he pono ka lilo ana o ka ōlelo Hawaii i ōlelo kūhelu o Hawaii i mea e hoohanohano pono ai i ka moomeheu ōiwi o Hawaii i ili mai i nā lāhui a pau o Hawaii nei.

Eia hou, hoomaopopo ka Ahaōlelo, ke hooikaika nei nā aupuni o nā āina ē i nā pono o nā lāhui ōiwi ma ō a ō o ka honua. I ka makahiki 2007, ua āpono ia ka Hōike no nā Pono o nā Lāhui Ōiwi e ka Aha Aupuni Hui Pū Ia. I ka makahiki 2011, ua pūlima ka Pelekikena o Amelika Hui Pū Ia i ia Hōike. Ma kēia pila, hoopaa ia ka mahele 13 o ia hōike ma nā Ōlelo Kūpaa Hooponopono Hou ia o Hawaii.

Pālua nā kumu o kēia kānāwai. O ka mua, he hooikaika kēia i ka hoohana ia o ka ōlelo Hawaii. O ka lua, he paipai kēia i ka Mokuāina o Hawaii e kau i ka ōlelo Hawaii ma ka pae like o ka ōlelo Pelekānia e like me ka manao i kau ai ka mahele 1-13 o ke Kumukānāwai o Hawaii ma ka makahiki 1978.

MAHELE 2. E hoololi ia ka Mahele 1-13 o nā Ōlelo Kūpaa Hooponopono Hou Ia o Hawaii e heluhelu ia penei:

"1-13 Official languages. (a) In recognition of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the legislature acknowledges that Native Hawaiians have the right to revitalize, use, develop, and transmit to future generations their histories, language, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems, and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places, and persons.

The State shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that Native Hawaiians and others can understand and be understood in political, legal, and administrative proceedings in the Hawaiian language, where necessary, through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

(b) English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawaii. Whenever there is found to exist any radical and irreconcilable difference between the English and Hawaiian version of any of the laws of the State, the English version shall be held binding[.]; provided that if the law in question was originally drafted in Hawaiian and the English version was translated based on the Hawaiian version, the Hawaiian language version shall be held binding. Hawaiian shall [not] be required for public acts and transactions."

MAHELE 3. E hoololi ia ka Mahele 1-13.5 o nā Ōlelo Kūpaa Hooponopono Hou Ia o Hawaii e heluhelu ia penei:

"[[]1-13.5[]] Hawaiian language; spelling. (a) [Macrons and glottal stops may] Okina and kahakō shall be used in the spelling of words or terms in the Hawaiian language, when appropriate, in documents prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials[.], except when the Hawaiian text is by and for the benefit of native speakers of Hawaiian; provided that any document submitted to state or county agencies or officials by members of the general public shall not require the use of okina and kahakō. Any rule, order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or discourages the use of these symbols shall be void[.], except for those specifically designed for the benefit of native speakers of Hawaiian.

(b) Okina are known in English as glottal stops and shall be represented as a left single quotation mark. Kahakō elongate vowel sounds and shall be represented as a macron over a vowel."

MAHELE 4. E hoololi ia ka Mahele 321C-1 o nā Ōlelo Kūpaa Hooponopono Hou Ia o Hawaii e heluhelu ia penei: "[[]321C-1[]] General purpose; purpose of the office of language access. The Hawaiian language is the indigenous language of Hawaii. Article XV, section 4, of the state constitution recognizes Hawaiian as an official state language. To better uphold this constitutional mandate and facilitate the rejuvenation and realization of Hawaiian as an official language of Hawaii, state and county agencies must provide Hawaiian language speakers with the equal opportunity to transact government business and access government services.

[Many individuals living in Hawaii read, write, speak, and understand English. There] In addition, there are many individuals[, however,] in Hawaii who are limited English proficient. Language for limited English proficient persons can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other information provided by state-funded programs and activities.

The purpose of this chapter is to affirmatively address, on account of national origin, the language access needs of limited English proficient persons[.] and of Hawaiian language speakers. It is the intent of the legislature that these services be guided by Executive Order No. 13166 and succeeding provisions of federal law, regulation, or guidance.

The purpose of the office of language access is to address the language access needs of limited English proficient persons and of Hawaiian language speakers and ensure meaningful access to services, programs, and activities offered by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, including departments, offices, commissions, boards, or other agencies, and all covered entities, for limited English proficient persons[.] and Hawaiian language speakers."

MAHELE 5. E hoololi ia ka Mahele 321C-2 ma o ka pākui ana i wehewehe ana hou e hookomo pono ia a e heluhelu ia penei:

""Hawaiian language speaker" means an individual who speaks Hawaiian with enough proficiency to read, write, speak, or understand the Hawaiian language."

MAHELE 6. E hoololi ia ka Mahele 321C-3 o nā Ōlelo Kūpaa Hooponopono Hou Ia o Hawaii ma o ka hoololi ana i nā mahele lalo o (a), (b), a me (c) penei:

"(a) Each state agency and all covered entities shall take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to services, programs, and activities by limited English proficient persons[, which] and Hawaiian language speakers. Limited English proficient persons will be determined by a totality of circumstances, including the following factors:

(1) The number or proportion of limited English proficient persons served or encountered in the eligible service population;

(2) The frequency with which limited English proficient persons come in contact with the services, programs, or activities;

(3) The nature and importance of the services, programs, or activities; and

(4) The resources available to the State or covered entity and the costs.

(b) Subject to subsection (a), each state agency and covered entity shall provide competent, timely oral language services to limited English proficient persons and Hawaiian language speakers who seek to access services, programs, or activities.

(c) Subject to subsection (a), each state agency and covered entity shall provide written translations of vital documents to limited English proficient persons and Hawaiian language speakers who seek to access services, programs, or activities, as follows:

(1) Written translations of vital documents for Hawaiian language speakers and each eligible limited English proficient group that constitutes five per cent or one thousand, whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered; or

(2) If there are fewer than fifty persons in a limited English proficient group that reaches the five per cent threshold in paragraph (1), written notice in the primary language to the limited English proficient language group of the right to receive competent oral interpretation of those written materials, free of cost."

MAHELE 7. O nā mea kāpae ia, aia i loko o nā kahaapo kihikihi a ua kahawaena ia. O nā mea hou, ua kahalalo ia.

MAHELE 8. E kaa ana kēia kānāwai ma kona āpono ia.

(English Translation)

SECTION 1. At the Hawaii State Constitutional Convention in 1978, the committee on Hawaiian affairs proposed the constitutional amendment that is now enshrined in article XV, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution, establishing Hawaiian as an official language of the State of Hawaii. The committee felt it necessary to include this amendment in the constitution "in order to give full recognition and honor to the rich cultural inheritance that Hawaiians have given to all ethnic groups of this State."

The legislature further recognizes its contribution to the growing international movement for the protection of the rights of the world's indigenous peoples through passage of this Act. In 2007, the United Nations adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2011, the United States became signatory on the Declaration. In this Act, article thirteen of the United Nation's Declaration is codified into the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The purpose of this Act is to promote the use of the Hawaiian language and encourage the State of Hawaii to put Hawaiian language on the same level as English as intended pursuant to section 1-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 2. Section 1-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"1-13 Official languages. (a) In recognition of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the legislature asserts that Native Hawaiians have the right to revitalize, use, develop, and transmit to future generations their histories, language, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems, and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places, and persons.

The State shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that Native Hawaiians and others can understand and be understood in political, legal, and administrative proceedings in the Hawaiian language, where necessary, through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.

(b) English and Hawaiian are the official languages of Hawaii. Whenever there is found to exist any radical and irreconcilable difference between the English and Hawaiian version of any of the laws of the State, the English version shall be held binding[.]; provided that if the law in question was originally drafted in Hawaiian and the English version was translated based on the Hawaiian version, the Hawaiian language version shall be held binding. Hawaiian shall [not] be required for public acts and transactions."

SECTION 3. Section 1-13.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]1-13.5[]] Hawaiian language; spelling. (a) [Macrons and glottal stops may] Okina and kahakō shall be used in the spelling of words or terms in the Hawaiian language, when appropriate, in documents prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials[.], except when the Hawaiian text is by and for the benefit of native speakers of Hawaiian; provided that any document submitted to state or county agencies or officials by members of the general public shall not require the use of okina and kahakō. Any rule, order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or discourages the use of these symbols shall be void[.], except for those specifically designed for the benefit of native speakers of Hawaiian.

(b) Okina are known in English as glottal stops and shall be represented as a left single quotation mark. Kahakō elongate vowel sounds and shall be represented as a macron over a vowel."

SECTION 4. Section 321C-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]321C-1[]] General purpose; purpose of the office of language access. The Hawaiian language is the indigenous language of Hawaii. Article XV, section 4, of the state constitution recognizes Hawaiian as an official state language. To better uphold this constitutional mandate and facilitate the rejuvenation and realization of Hawaiian as an official language of Hawaii, state and county agencies must provide Hawaiian language speakers with the equal opportunity to transact government business and access government services.

[Many individuals living in Hawaii read, write, speak, and understand English. There] In addition, there are many individuals[, however,] in Hawaii who are limited English proficient. Language for limited English proficient persons can be a barrier to accessing important benefits or services, understanding and exercising important rights, complying with applicable responsibilities, or understanding other information provided by state-funded programs and activities.

The purpose of this chapter is to affirmatively address, on account of national origin, the language access needs of limited English proficient persons[.] and of Hawaiian language speakers. It is the intent of the legislature that these services be guided by Executive Order No. 13166 and succeeding provisions of federal law, regulation, or guidance.

The purpose of the office of language access is to address the language access needs of limited English proficient persons and of Hawaiian language speakers and ensure meaningful access to services, programs, and activities offered by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, including departments, offices, commissions, boards, or other agencies, and all covered entities, for limited English proficient persons[.] and Hawaiian language speakers."

SECTION 5. Section 321C-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Hawaiian language speaker" means an individual who speaks Hawaiian with enough proficiency to read, write, speak, or understand the Hawaiian language."

SECTION 6. Section 321C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a), (b), and (c) to read as follows:

"(a) Each state agency and all covered entities shall take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to services, programs, and activities by limited English proficient persons[, which] and Hawaiian language speakers. Limited English proficient persons will be determined by a totality of circumstances, including the following factors:

(1) The number or proportion of limited English proficient persons served or encountered in the eligible service population;

(2) The frequency with which limited English proficient persons come in contact with the services, programs, or activities;

(3) The nature and importance of the services, programs, or activities; and

(4) The resources available to the State or covered entity and the costs.

(b) Subject to subsection (a), each state agency and covered entity shall provide competent, timely oral language services to limited English proficient persons and Hawaiian language speakers who seek to access services, programs, or activities.

(c) Subject to subsection (a), each state agency and covered entity shall provide written translations of vital documents to limited English proficient persons and Hawaiian language speakers who seek to access services, programs, or activities, as follows:

(1) Written translations of vital documents for Hawaiian language speakers and each eligible limited English proficient group that constitutes five per cent or one thousand, whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered; or

(2) If there are fewer than fifty persons in a limited English proficient group that reaches the five per cent threshold in paragraph (1), written notice in the primary language to the limited English proficient language group of the right to receive competent oral interpretation of those written materials, free of cost."

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.



 

Report Title:

Hawaiian Language; State Law; Public Documents; Office of Language Access; Hawaiian Diacritical Marks

 

Description:

Inserts article thirteen of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into the Hawaii Revised Statutes. Requires that Hawaiian be used for public acts and transactions. Directs the office of language access to provide services to Hawaiian language speakers. Requires the Hawaiian version of a law be held binding if the law in question was originally drafted in Hawaiian and then translated into English. Requires that okina and kahakō be used, when appropriate, in documents prepared by or for state or county agencies or officials, with certain exceptions. Amends existing law so that any rule, order, policy, or other act, official or otherwise, that prohibits or discourages the use of okina and kahakō, except those specifically designed for the benefit of native speakers of Hawaiian, shall be void. (SD2)

 

 

 

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