STAND. COM. REP. NO. 314
RE: S.B. No. 134
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 134 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY POWERS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the Governor or the mayors from suspending requests for public or vital statistics records during a declared state of emergency.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter, All Hawaii News, League of Women Voters, Big Island Press Club, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices.
Your Committee finds that existing law allows the Governor or a mayor to suspend requests for public or vital statistics records during a declared state of emergency. Your Committee further finds that during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Governor suspended the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) in its entirety for two and a half months, and that the deadlines under the UIPA have been suspended indefinitely. Your Committee acknowledges that while it is important for the Governor and the counties to have flexible and broad emergency powers during extended emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, guardrails must exist to prevent the overreach of those powers. This measure prohibits the Governor or a mayor from suspending requests for public or vital statistics records during a declared state of emergency.
Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 134, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 134, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair