Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021


RE: H.B. No. 726

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. 726, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to temporarily:


(1) Require every person in the State to wear a face covering when in a public setting, subject to certain exemptions; and


(2) Establish a fine for failure to wear a face covering when required.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Public Defender, Union Airline Workers of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers, Hawaii Pacific Health, The Queen's Health Systems, Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, Hawaii Restaurant Association, Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii County Assembly, Aloha Festival, and numerous individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Division of Financial Institutions, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Retail Merchants of Hawaii, and Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.


Your Committee finds that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that travel into the air when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Face coverings act as a barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others and studies have shown that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn properly over the nose and mouth. Your Committee believes that mandating everyone to wear face coverings, in addition to other preventative measures, will slow the spread of COVID-19, thereby ensuring the health and safety of everyone in Hawaii and helping restore the economy. Although face coverings will be mandated, your Committee recognizes that it may be necessary for people to temporarily uncover their face to confirm identification in some situations.


Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.


Should the Committee on Finance deliberate on this measure, your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs respectfully requests that it consider extending the repeal date of this measure to January 31, 2022, to provide the Legislature with the opportunity to address this issue at the next regular session if necessary.


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. 726, 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. 726, H.D. 2.



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