STAND. COM. REP. NO. 610

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023

 

RE: H.B. No. 131

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Health & Homelessness, to which was referred H.B. No. 131 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ADVISORY COMMITTEES,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to:

 

(1) Rename the statewide and county-level Voters With Special Needs Advisory Committees as the Elections Accessibility Needs Advisory Committees; and

 

(2) Amend the composition of the advisory committees to include members who identify as a voter with accessibility needs arising from disabilities, rather than arising from only from physical disabilities.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Elections, Statewide Voters with Special Needs Advisory Committee, National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii, Hawaii Disability Rights Center, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Disability and Communication Access Board.

 

Your Committee finds that the reference to "voters with special needs" under existing law is too general and vague. Replacing this language and renaming the applicable committees the Elections Accessibility Needs Advisory Committees is directly tied to the Committees' purpose, to identity barriers to access during any part of the election process and recommending ways to remove such barriers to the Legislature and Office of Elections. Removing references to "physical disabilities" ensures that the Committees' work is inclusive of all voters with disabilities, not just those with physical disabilities.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health & Homelessness that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 131, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 131, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health & Homelessness,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

DELLA AU BELATTI, Chair