STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1820
RE: H.B. No. 522
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, 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 and intent of this measure is to remove the ability of the Governor or a mayor to suspend electronic media transmission during a state of emergency.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from one member of the Hawai‘i County Council; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; Hawaii Bulletin; Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest; Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, Inc.; and Big Island Press Club. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that allowing a mayor or the Governor to suspend the transmission of electronic media during a state of emergency could be perceived as unconstitutional by restraining free speech and publication. Prior restraints against lawful speech have been resoundingly rejected by the Supreme Court of the United States. This measure will ensure that the public's constitutional rights remain protected during a state of emergency.
Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of March 22, 2075, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 522, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 522, H.D. 1, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair