STAND. COM. REP. NO. 295
RE: S.B. No. 1129
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 S.B. No. 1129 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 three individuals.
Your Committee finds that there is a need to add further protections for those individuals who assist in child abuse investigations. On January 7, 2019, the federal Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018, P.L. 115-24, was enacted, further amending the Child Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The amendment grants immunity from civil and criminal prosecution to people who provide information or assistance to a good faith report of child abuse and/or neglect. This includes medical evaluations and professional consultations. Your Committee further finds that the language proposed in this measure does not provide immunity for individuals who provide information and assistance in bad faith. And finally, your Committee finds that this measure will bring Hawaii's CAPTA Program Improvement Plan into conformity with the federal CAPTA amendments by the required date of June 30, 2021.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying the effective date of June 30, 2021; and
(2) 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 S.B. No. 1129, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1129, 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