STAND. COM. REP. NO. 933

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2023

 

RE: H.B. No. 522

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 Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred H.B. No. 522, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to remove the ability of the Governor or a mayor to suspend electronic media transmission during a state of emergency or local state of emergency.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from one member of the Hawaii County Council; the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, Inc.; The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest; KITV4; Hawaii News Now: KGMB-KHNL-K5; KHON2; Society of Professional Journalists, Hawaii Chapter; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; All Hawaii News; Big Island Press Club; and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

 

Your Committee finds that the constitutionality of the Governor's or a mayor's authority to suspend electronic media transmission during an emergency is highly questionable. This measure addresses the issue before any state action is taken that deprives the public and press of their First Amendment rights.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 522, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair