STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1387
RE: H.B. No. 105
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts, to which was referred H.B. No. 105, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LICENSE PLATES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(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 the words "Hawai‘i" and "Aloha State" on license plates.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Prior to the hearing on this measure, your Committee posted and made available for public review a proposed S.D. 1, which amends this measure by:
(1) Requiring license plates to include ‘okina in the word "Hawai‘i";
(2) Establishing requirements for number plates issued for zero-emission, hybrid, and gasoline-powered vehicles beginning January 1, 2025; and
(3) Requiring the continued use of the rainbow number plate design for hybrid and gasoline-powered vehicles.
Your Committee received testimony in opposition of the proposed S.D. 1 from the Department of Customer Services of the City and County of Honolulu.
Your Committee finds that the Hawaiian language is one of two official languages of the State. The diacritical markings of ‘okina and kahakō provide necessary distinction in the appropriate pronunciation of words as the Hawaiian language evolved and transformed from predominantly spoken to written language. While the inclusion of ‘okina in license plates represents a small step to recognizing ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, the incorporation of ‘okina maintains the integrity of written and spoken forms of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.
Your Committee further finds that the State is nearing the end of its current motor vehicle license plate numbering system. Additionally, your Committee finds that the proliferation of electric vehicles across the State has also caused the temporary electric vehicle numbering system to near the end of its respective system. Therefore, establishing requirements for zero-emission, hybrid, and gasoline-powered vehicles while also requiring the usage of ‘okina in motor vehicle license plates recognize the State's commitment to sustainability goals and the cultural significance of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adopting the proposed S.D. 1; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 105, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 105, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation and Culture and the Arts,
CHRIS LEE, Chair