Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021


RE: H.B. No. 643

H.D. 2





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 643, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to:


(1) Establish the offense of harassment against an essential worker during an emergency; and


(2) Amend various definitions of the emergency management laws to address pandemics.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Honolulu Police Department; Hawaii State AFL-CIO; Pride at Work; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; IATSE Local 665; United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 480; United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL‑CIO; LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii Nurses' Association; ILWU Local 142; and one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Berean Beacon Ministry, For Our Rights, Honolulu County Republican Party, Kauai Republican Party, Aloha Festival, Hawaii Federation of Republican Women, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.


Your Committee finds that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State and counties have had to impose certain restrictions in order to combat the pandemic. Your Committee further finds that essential workers were responsible for enforcing some of these restrictions during the emergency period, which has led to unwarranted pushback and harassment against essential workers. This measure will provide the necessary protections for essential workers during an emergency to ensure that they can continue offering critical services to residents without impediment or disruption.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Changing references from a "person" and "recipient" to an "essential worker" for purposes of determining what is considered harassment against an essential worker;


(2) Clarifying what constitutes an "emergency period"; and


(3) 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. 643, 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. 643, H.D. 2.



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