THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

246

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO GOVERNMENT.

 

 

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

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there is a need to modernize state government to reflect the current generation of Hawaii residents, as recent studies have shown a lack of public support for government in the State. Furthermore, the current structure of government presents challenges to effective and efficient governing at all levels. The legislature also finds that the needs of society have changed drastically, with greater emphasis on modernization, transparency, and accountability, and that these needs should be reflected in the functions and services provided by state government.

The purpose of this part is to establish the state government realignment commission to periodically review the state executive branch's departments, divisions, and agencies, including functions and services, and submit its findings and recommendations to the legislature.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to title 4 to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

State government realignment commission

   -1 Establishment of the commission. (a) There is established a state government realignment commission, hereinafter called the commission, which shall be placed within the department of accounting and general services for administrative purposes. The commission shall consist of seven members. Three members shall be appointed by the governor, two members by the president of the senate, and two members by the speaker of the house of representatives. All members appointed by the governor shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate. The commission shall elect its chairperson from among its members.

(b) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(c) To perform its duties, the commission may engage employees without regard to chapter 76 and enter into contracts with consultants. Departments of the state government shall make available to the commission any data and facilities that are necessary for the commission to perform its duties.

   -2 Term. Members of the commission shall be appointed and confirmed on or before July 1, 2022, and new members of the commission shall be appointed and confirmed on or before July 1 every ten years thereafter; provided that if any vacancy occurs in the membership of a commission prior to the completion of its duties or dissolution, there shall be appointed a replacement member in accordance with section 26-34. The commission shall meet as necessary to execute its duties. The commission shall dissolve upon the adjournment sine die of the legislature to which it submits the evaluation and recommendations required by section    -3.

   -3 Duties. The commission shall conduct a systematic review of the state executive branch's departments, divisions, and agencies, including functions and services, that uses standards such as equity, efficiency, and modernization to consolidate, expand, or reassign services. Thirty days prior to the convening of the second regular session of the legislature after the members of the commission have been appointed, the commission shall submit to the legislature the findings of its systemic review of the state executive branch and any recommendations based on the findings; provided that the legislature shall review and take into consideration the commission's findings and recommendations."

PART II

SECTION 3. The legislature finds that broadband is the critical infrastructure of the twenty-first century. The term "broadband" has been generally defined as a data transmission service that enables users, such as residents, schools, businesses, and government, to access the Internet and use web applications at particular speeds. From a practical standpoint, broadband allows a student to connect to a remote classroom, businesses to conduct secure financial transactions, and health providers to serve patients without coming into a clinic or hospital.

In March 2020, when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic required all residents to shelter in place, broadband became fundamental to everyday life. The public and private sectors immediately shifted to remote work, schools transitioned to distance learning, and many services were available only online. Evolving solutions to meet the COVID-19 crisis and communication about those solutions were posted on social media and various websites. During the evolution of the pandemic, the digital divide between those with broadband access and those without became painfully evident.

The legislature further finds that broadband is a public sector priority and access to broadband should not be limited by geographical location or ability to pay.

The purpose of this part is to significantly increase access to broadband for the most vulnerable populations in the State by appropriating funds for various broadband infrastructure installation or expansion.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the funds received by the State from the American Rescue Plan Act, Public Law 117‑2, the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for:

(1) The purchase of secure and reliable high-speed broadband through fixed fiber or copper connections and high-speed wireless, such as wi-fi;

(2) Endpoint device availability and management;

(3) Support and management of technical issues;

(4) Network management of user needs; and

(5) Changing network requirements;

provided that priority shall be given to rural and underserved communities, including state public housing and geographic areas with high concentration of low-income students served by Title I recipients.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of accounting and general services for the purposes of this part.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the funds received by the State from the American Rescue Plan Act, Public Law 117‑2, the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the purchase and installation of broadband infrastructure to enhance and upgrade broadband and internet connectivity for state buildings, including libraries.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of accounting and general services for the purposes of this part.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the funds received by the State from the American Rescue Plan Act, Public Law 117‑2, the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for:

(1) Extension of fiber to every department of education classroom building's wiring room, as needed, in order to provide fiber interconnection to every classroom building resulting in better network performance and management for each classroom; and

(2) Enhancement and upgrade of cabling from the wiring room to every classroom, for every department of education classroom building, as needed, to support better connectivity and performance for student devices.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of accounting and general services for the purposes of this part.

SECTION 7. The department of accounting and general services and department of transportation shall submit an annual report to the legislature by December 1, regarding implementation of this part and any other broadband projects implemented by the departments, including but not limited to:

(1) The status of procurement of broadband services and equipment;

(2) Total number and prioritization of broadband delivery sites statewide and by county;

(3) Estimated number of households served statewide and by county; and

(4) Future funding and any proposed legislation, if any.

PART III

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2112.



 

Report Title:

State Government Realignment Commission; Departments; Divisions; Agencies; Broadband Infrastructure; American Rescue Plan Act; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes a state government realignment commission to periodically review the state executive branch's departments, divisions, and agencies, including functions and services, and submit its findings and recommendations to the legislature. Appropriates American Rescue Plan Act funds for various broadband infrastructure installation and updates throughout the State and requires an annual report regarding these projects. Effective 7/1/2112. (HD2)

 

 

 

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