STAND. COM. REP. NO. 740

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 912

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 912, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Authorize a court to order the forfeiture of one-half of the Employees' Retirement System (ERS) benefits of an ERS member, former member, or retirant upon conviction of the individual for a felony related to the state or county employment of the individual;

 

(2) Authorize designated beneficiaries to receive the reduced ERS benefits to which the member, former member, or retirant would be entitled upon the death of the member, former member, or retirant; and

 

(3) Prohibit designated beneficiaries convicted of a felony under the same set of circumstances as the member, former member, or retirant who was subject to forfeiture of ERS benefits from receiving benefits.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, Common Cause Hawaii, and seven individuals.

 

Your Committees find that while existing law requires an employee of the State or county who is convicted of a felony to have their employment terminated, the employee is still entitled to receive benefits from the ERS. Public employees who have been convicted of a felony that is directly related to the employee's position or duties ultimately lose the trust of the public by misusing their position and therefore should no longer be eligible to receive benefits accrued during their employment with the State or county. Your Committees further find that beneficiaries who were convicted of a felony based on the same set of circumstances as the member, former member, or retirant who was subject to forfeiture of their retirement benefits, should also not be allowed to receive ERS benefits. This measure will prohibit public employees and their beneficiaries from reaping ERS benefits should they be convicted of a felony relating to their employment, thereby restoring confidence in Hawaii's government.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 912, S.D. 1, and recommend that it pass Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,

 

________________________________

DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair