THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

169

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE GOVERNOR TO CREATE A TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENFORCE THE SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY PROCLAMATIONS TO MITIGATE THE FURTHER SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 IN HAWAII.

 

 


     WHEREAS, the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created great challenges to the State's health, economy, and way of life; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Governor and mayors have exercised their emergency powers under chapter 127A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to impose rules to control the spread of COVID-19; and

 

     WHEREAS, section 127A-29, Hawaii Revised Statutes, only provides the Governor and county mayors the ability to establish misdemeanor offenses through rulemaking during emergency periods, putting a heavy burden upon the criminal justice system to process these cases expeditiously to provide for meaningful and effective enforcement; and

 

     WHEREAS, the ability to enforce emergency rules is essential to control the spread of COVID-19, protect the health and safety of the community, manage medical resources, and restart the economy; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Governor has issued supplemental emergency proclamations to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19 by ordering residents and visitors to a mandatory fourteen-day self-quarantine for all arrivals at state airports from the continental United States and international destinations; and

 

     WHEREAS, on November 23, 2020, the Governor signed the sixteenth COVID-19 emergency proclamation requiring all transpacific travelers to Hawaii to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner within three days before their departure to bypass the fourteen-day quarantine; and

 

     WHEREAS, the self-quarantine mandate was meant to contain the spread of COVID-19 by restricting the mobility of those who travel to Hawaii during the period they might be contagious; and

 

     WHEREAS, the State and counties have also imposed emergency orders calling for individuals to stay at their place of residence, maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from any other person, limit or prohibit social gatherings, and wear face coverings while in public spaces; and

 

     WHEREAS, it is a monumental effort to keep track of everyone who should be in quarantine and it involves a hui of law enforcement agencies, representatives of Hawaii's visitor industry, state transportation workers, and the general community; and

 

     WHEREAS, enforcement has been largely reactive, dependent on reports and complaints from the public, social media, and interested community groups; and

 

     WHEREAS, enforcements are largely on an "honor system", dependent on the deterrent effect of potential penalties and the individual's tolerance for risk; and

 

     WHEREAS; despite the enactment of emergency orders, residents and visitors continue to violate these orders; county policy departments have issued tens of thousands of citations for violations of emergency proclamations and orders that must be processed through the court system, thereby inundating the courts, which are already faced with operational complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and

 

     WHEREAS, the state and county law enforcement agencies must be able to provide for meaningful and effective enforcement by vigilantly policing violations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the State; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Governor is urged to create a task force to develop recommendations on the roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Attorney General and the state and county law enforcement agencies to enforce emergency proclamations, including but not limited to supplemental emergency proclamations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which require social distancing, wearing of face coverings, and the prohibition of gatherings; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force membership is requested to include a representative of each of the following:

 

     (1)  The Department of the Attorney General;

 

     (2)  The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency;

 

     (3)  The Judiciary;

 

     (4)  The Department of Public Safety;

 

     (5)  The Adjutant General;

 

     (6)  Each county police department;

 

     (7)  Each county prosecutor's office;

 

     (8)  An organization that reports violations to law enforcement to be selected by the President of the Senate; and

 

     (9)  An organization that reports violations to law enforcement to be selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Attorney General, Chief of Police of each county, Prosecutor of each county, Judiciary, Adjutant General, and Director of Public Safety.

Report Title: 

COVID-19; Enforcement; Emergency Order; Task Force