HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

664

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to emergency management.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the 2020 outbreak of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has brought renewed scrutiny to the state's emergency management statutes. The rapid worldwide expansion of the coronavirus triggered its characterization as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. The state's emergency management laws require updating to include real-world conditions created by pandemics and the related preparedness, response, and mitigation of the social and economic consequences.

Additionally, the legislature finds that the pandemic has created a multitude of essential government workers in various job sectors who, through the course of their work, are required to observe rules and orders that have been enacted by the appropriate governmental authority. Emergency response measures to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through, for example, the use of face coverings or masks, has placed great responsibility and risk on essential workers. While certain categories of essential government workers whose duties relate directly to emergency management are offered some statutory protections under existing laws, other essential government workers are generally not protected under these provisions. Therefore, specific statutory protection for these other workers needs to be included in the State's emergency management laws.

The purpose of this Act is to amend the emergency management laws to provide greater protections for all essential government workers, who are currently included in the broadly defined category of government personnel having emergency worker status during a declared state of emergency.

SECTION 2. Section 127A-29, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]127A-29[]] Misdemeanors. (a) Any person violating any rule of the governor or mayor prescribed and promulgated pursuant to this chapter and having the force and effect of law, shall, if it shall be so stated in the rule, be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the person shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both[.]; provided that if the person's failure to comply with the rule jeopardizes the health or safety of government personnel having "emergency worker" status pursuant to section 127A-8, then the maximum fine shall be $10,000.

(b) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly destroys, damages, or loses any shelter, protective device, or warning or signal device, shall if the same was installed or constructed by the United States, the State, or a county, or is the property of the United States, the State, or a county, be fined the cost of replacement, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. The governor or mayor, may, by rule, make further provisions for the protection from misuse of shelters, protective devices, or warning and signal devices."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Emergency Management; Emergency Rules; Noncompliance; Authorized Fine

 

Description:

Increases the maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000 for violations of emergency rules prescribed and promulgated pursuant to Chapter 127A, HRS, and having the force and effect of law when the noncompliance jeopardizes the health or safety of government personnel having "emergency worker" status.

 

 

 

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