STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1577
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 Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 975, H.D. 1, S.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 add immunity from civil and criminal liability for individuals who provide information or assistance in child abuse investigations.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services and Hawai‘i Psychological Association. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Family Advocacy Team.
Your Committee finds that the federal Child Abuse and Prevention Act (CAPTA) provides federal funding and guidance to states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities for child abuse and neglect. As amended by the federal Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018 (2018 Reauthorization Act), CAPTA provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for individuals who provide information or assistance in child abuse investigations.
Your Committee further finds that CAPTA, as amended by the 2018 Reauthorization Act, requires the states to be in compliance with the immunity amendments as a condition for receipt of federal funds. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families has set a deadline of June 30, 2021, for Hawai‘i to be compliant with this requirement. Your Committee finds that this measure will bring the State into compliance with CAPTA prior to the deadline and ensure the State's eligibility for receipt of future federal funds.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 975, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair