Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2021


RE:   H.B. No. 991

      H.D. 1





Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness, to which was referred H.B. No. 991 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to:


     (1)  Allow the Department of Health to disclose vital statistics records for public health and law enforcement purposes; and


     (2)  Update the eligibility requirements for access to confidential vital records.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health and Honolulu Police Department.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices.


Your Committee finds that vital records include data about births, deaths, marriage or civil unions, and contain information such as race, ethnicity, cause of death, relative health at birth, and other qualitative data that is found in few other places.  This measure authorizes the limited disclosure of certain records for research or studies through a review process by the Department of Health's Institutional Review Committee that is consistent with protocols and standards in academic and scientific human subject research and assures that requests serve an ethical public good, privacy is maintained, and that records are transmitted, stored, and disposed of properly.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Clarifying that the new data sharing conditions must be as authorized under existing law or in a manner consistent with rules adopted by the Department of Health;


     (2)  Clarifying that direct and tangible interests in public health statistics records includes those persons or agencies who need to determine the death of a co-owner of property, rather than of real property;


     (3)  Clarifying the role of the Department of Health's Institutional Review Committee in assuring the public health and public interest of proposed research or studies in vital statistics disclosures;


     (4)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2060, to encourage further discussion; and


     (5)  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 Health, Human Services, & Homelessness that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 991, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 991, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health, Human Services, & Homelessness,