STAND. COM. REP. NO. 285
RE: S.B. No. 700
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 700 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SEARCH AND RESCUE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require government entities to seek reimbursement for all or a portion of search and rescue expenses for persons who require rescue after leaving a hiking trail to enter a prohibited area or hiking on a trail closed to the public.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Your Committee finds that with the numerous hiking trails available to the public throughout the State, there are certain areas that pose safety concerns and consequently have been closed to the public. Despite this, your Committee finds that there are cases in which individuals and groups unlawfully enter trails that have been closed off to the public due to safety concerns, ultimately putting those individuals and groups at risk of significant injury and further risking the damage of native habitats and other natural resources being preserved in closed areas.
Your Committee further finds that those defying the law by entering into prohibited areas not only put themselves at risk, but create potentially difficult and expensive rescue operations. The costs associated with the search and rescue of individuals who willfully disregard their own safety by ignoring warning signs are considerable. This measure will hold those willfully disregarding the law accountable by requiring a reimbursement of funds used for a search and rescue mission of those who entered a prohibited area.
Your Committee has amended this measure by 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 Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 700, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 700, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair