STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1097
RE: H.B. No. 975
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. 975, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to bring state law into compliance with the most recent amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which seek to provide immunity from civil and criminal liability for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services and the Hawai‘i Psychological Association. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that in January 2019, the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018, P.L. 115-424, was enacted, further amending certain provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. Your Committee also finds that the 2019 amendment provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect, or who otherwise provide information or assistance, including medical evaluations or consultations, in connection with a report, investigation, or legal intervention pursuant to a good faith report of child abuse or neglect. Your Committee further finds that due to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the Hawaii State Legislature's regular session of 2020, the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, granted the department of human services an extension until June 30, 2021, to bring Hawaii's law into compliance with federal law.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of June 30, 2021; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment 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. 975, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 975, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair