STAND. COM. REP. NO. 341
RE: S.B. No. 1490
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor and Technology, to which was referred S.B. No. 1490 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO STATE EMPLOYEES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the State to:
(1) Defend professionally licensed or certified state employees from civil actions when the employee was acting within the scope of their employment and was not grossly negligent or wanton; and
(2) File a motion to be heard with the court when the State refuses to defend a state or county employee from civil actions on certain grounds.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; Hawaii Association for Justice; and Hawaii Workers Center. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that although Act 44, Session Laws of Hawaii 2022 (Act 44), clarified the personal liability requirements for professionally licensed or certified employees of the State, it did not clarify the circumstances under which the State has a duty to defend its professionally licensed or certified employees.
Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an effective date of January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.
Your Committee finds that it remains unclear as to what protections the State can offer its professionally licensed or certified employees who were acting in the scope of their employment. Should your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means choose to deliberate on this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that they consider this issue.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor and Technology that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1490, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1490, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor and Technology,
SHARON MORIWAKI, Chair