STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1418
RE: H.B. No. 710
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred H.B. No. 710, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO GOVERNMENT,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish the class C felony offense of using or making false statements or entries in matters within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the State, or any county;
(2) Disqualify a person charged with using or making a false statement or entry from receiving public financing for elections for a period of ten years; and
(3) Amend the offense of obstruction of justice.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, Honolulu Police Department, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that making false statements or entries within local government can weaken democracy. The issuance of false statements or entries undoubtedly impacts government resources and conditions. Your Committee further finds that the federal false claims statement statute established a class C felony offense for persons who, when dealing with state or county government, knowingly or willfully falsify, conceal, or cover up a material fact; make a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or make or use any false writing or document known to have materially false information. This measure will establish a similar offense in Hawaii, which will help state and county law enforcement root out corruption and misconduct in state and county government rather than rely on federal law enforcement.
Your Committee agrees with the testimony provided that the bar against service for ten years after a conviction of the class C felony is constitutional and as such has restored the original language that was in the draft of the measure as introduced.
Your Committee further finds that while there is a bar against running for office in the legislative branch after a conviction, no bar exists if someone in the executive or judicial branch is convicted of the same offense. As such, your Committee feels that it is important to ensure that should an offense occur in these other two branches, the same prohibition should apply to them as well.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing the legislative findings;
(2) Changing the penalty for any person convicted of using or making false statements or entries in matters within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the State or any county from being disqualified from receiving public financing under part XIII, subpart J of chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for a period of ten years from the date of conviction to being disqualified from holding any elected or appointed office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches for a period of ten years from the date of conviction; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 710, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 710, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
ANGUS L.K. MCKELVEY, Chair