STAND. COM. REP. NO. 389

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 569

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 569, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VICTIM-COUNSELOR PRIVILEGE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to expand the victim-counselor privilege under the Hawaii Rules of Evidence to include:

 

(1) Victims of dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment; and

 

(2) Confidential advocates employed by the University of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, University of Hawaii System, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Hawaii Women's Coalition, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, and one individual.

 

Your Committee finds that the additional legal protections provided by this measure will allow victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and child abuse to share more information with University of Hawaii confidential advocates in confidence and receive better support from the University.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Clarifying that the victim has a semiabsolute privilege to refuse or prevent disclosure under the victim‑counselor privilege; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 569, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 569, H.D. 2.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

MARK M. NAKASHIMA, Chair