STAND. COM. REP. NO. 353
RE: S.B. No. 135
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 135 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TELECOMMUNICATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Office of Enterprise Technology Services to conduct a study to determine appropriate state office buildings that can provide equitable telecommunication access to allow residents to remotely participate in legislative hearings for the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui and rural areas of the City and County of Honolulu.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Enterprise Technology Services and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Disability and Communication Access Board.
Your Committee finds that as an island state, Hawaii's geography and transportation challenges pose particular hardships for residents of the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui to actively participate in the legislative process via in-person testimony at committee hearings. Neighbor island residents who physically attend legislative committee hearings to testify on measures incur significant air travel, lodging, and other transportation costs, and often have to take time off from work. This measure is the first step to allow neighbor island residents and other residents who live far from the State Capitol to participate in committee hearings via remote testimony, which will promote equal access to the legislative process and encourage greater civic participation. Your Committee further finds that it is important to ensure that the state office buildings identified through the study are also able to allow persons with disabilities to provide live, real-time remote testimony.
Your Committee has amended this measure by requiring that the buildings identified by this measure are equally accessible to persons with disabilities.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 135, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 135, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
SHARON MORIWAKI, Chair