STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1096
RE: H.B. No. 722
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to address the growing problem of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children in the State by establishing within the Department of the Attorney General a statewide coordinator and program to address the needs of victims of human trafficking.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary; Department of Human Services; Department of the Attorney General; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Department of Health; Maui Police Department; Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney; Honolulu Police Department; City and County of Honolulu, Department of the Prosecuting Attorney; Hawai‘i Psychological Association; St. Michael the Archangel Parish; Hawai‘i Island Safe Net, Hawai‘i Island Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Sex Abuse Treatment Center; and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Imua Alliance.
Your Committee finds that children in the State are vulnerable to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. In the last decade, the commercial sexual exploitation of children has garnered greater attention in Hawaii and throughout the United States. Your Committee further finds that in order to adequately serve children who have been sexually exploited, a statewide human trafficking program is needed to develop and utilize comprehensive interagency case management strategies, protocols, and a multi-disciplinary response that is both victim-centered and offender-focused. Your Committee notes the testimony of the Department of the Attorney General, which stated that an appropriation for a statewide coordinator would not be necessary as its current budget already includes a position for the coordinator; however, having the position statutorily-established will aid in opportunities to obtain federal grants.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Reinserting the requirement that the Department of the Attorney General establish a statewide coordinator and program within the Department to address the needs of victims of human trafficking;
(2) Inserting an effective date of January 1, 2022; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 722, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair