STAND. COM. REP. NO. 422
RE: H.B. No. 105
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Culture, Arts & International Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 105 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LICENSE PLATES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to:
(1) Require license plates to include ‘okina in the word "Hawai‘i"; and
(2) Authorize the use of all uppercase letters, all lowercase letters, or initial capital letters in license plates along the upper portion of the word "Hawai‘i" or the lower portion of the words "Aloha State".
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Customer Services of the City and County of Honolulu, and one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Honolulu Police Department.
Your Committee finds that the development and use of ‘okina and kahakō were to provide the necessary distinction in the appropriate pronunciation of words as the language evolved and transformed from predominantly spoken to include written language. Your Committee further finds that in written ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, the use of diacritical marks, like ‘okina, maintain the same critical importance as the recognized letters of the Hawaiian language alphabet, in that their absence or presence in words can result in a completely different meaning. The proper respect afforded to maintaining the integrity of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i in its written and spoken forms is monumental.
Your Committee heard the Honolulu Police Department's concerns that changing the license plate to include ‘okina and kahakō will affect readability; however, your Committee notes that this measure will not affect the license plate number, which is the main portion that would need to be legible.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Culture, Arts & International Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 105, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 105, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Culture, Arts & International Affairs,
ADRIAN K. TAM, Chair