HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the governor and the county mayors may exercise their emergency powers under chapter 127A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to impose rules that are intended to protect the health and safety of the community during statewide or local emergencies. These emergency powers are important to make swift policy changes for the benefit of the public and to address short periods of states of emergency where public welfare and safety are threatened.
The legislature also finds that a prohibition on the increase of prices of essential commodities during states of emergency is automatically triggered when an emergency proclamation is issued. While this is intended to provide a benefit to the public by freezing prices in the short term, during extended states of emergency, such as during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, the duration of the statewide emergency proclamation created unintended consequences because it subjected all commodities to the price gouging statute for two years.
The legislature further finds that, in order to provide clear guidance to industries that provide commodities, the proclamation of a state of emergency or local state of emergency should clearly identify the specific commodities that are subject to the emergency declaration and a time certain for the proclamation to terminate.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to amend chapter 127A-30, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to specify that a prohibition on the increase of prices of essential commodities during a state of emergency expires seventy-two hours after the effective date and time of the initial declaration or any supplemental declaration, unless the governor or mayor specifically includes within a proclamation the commodities that are subject to the declaration.
SECTION 2. Section 127A-30, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsections (a) to (c) to read:
"(a) Whenever the governor declares a state of
emergency for the entire State or any portion thereof, or a mayor declares a
local state of emergency for the county or any portion thereof, or when the
State, or any portion thereof, is the subject of a severe [
shall be prohibited any increase in the selling price of any commodity, whether
at the retail or wholesale level, in the area that is the subject of the
proclamation or [
the] severe [ weather] warning; and
landlord shall terminate any tenancy for a residential dwelling unit in the
area that is the subject of the proclamation or [
the] severe [ weather]
warning, except for a breach of a material term of a rental agreement or lease,
or if the unit is unfit for occupancy as defined in this chapter; provided
(A) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to extend a fixed-term lease beyond its termination date, except that a periodic tenancy for a residential dwelling unit may be terminated by the landlord upon forty-five days' written notice:
(i) When the residential dwelling unit is sold to a bona fide purchaser for value; or
(ii) When the landlord or an immediate family member of the landlord will occupy the residential dwelling unit; or
(B) Under a fixed-term lease or a periodic tenancy, upon forty-five days' written notice, a landlord may require a tenant or tenants to relocate during the actual and continuous period of any repair to render a residential dwelling unit fit for occupancy; provided that:
(i) Reoccupancy shall first be offered to the same tenant or tenants upon completion of the repair;
(ii) The term of the fixed-term lease or periodic tenancy shall be extended by a period of time equal to the duration of the repair; and
(iii) It shall be the responsibility of the tenant or tenants to find other accommodations during the period of repair.
(b) Notwithstanding this section, any additional
operating expenses incurred by the seller or landlord because of the emergency [
disaster or [ the] severe [ weather, and which] warning that
can be documented[ ,] may be passed on to the consumer. In the case of a residential dwelling unit,
if rent increases are contained in a written instrument that was signed by the
tenant [ prior to] before the declaration or severe [ weather]
warning, the increases may take place pursuant to the written instrument.
(c) The prohibitions under subsection (a) shall
remain in effect until twenty-four hours after the severe [
warning is canceled by the National Weather Service[ ;], Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center, United States Geological Survey, or other public
authority, as applicable; or in the event of a declaration, [ the later
of a date specified by the governor or mayor in the declaration or ninety-six]
seventy-two hours after the effective date and time of the declaration,
unless [ such prohibition is continued by a supplementary declaration issued
by] the governor or mayor[ .] identifies within the proclamation,
or any supplementary proclamation, the specific types of commodities to be
subject to the prohibition and the specific time period during which the
prohibition shall apply. Any
proclamation issued under this chapter that fails to state the time at which it
will take effect, shall take effect at [ twelve] noon of the day on which
it takes effect."
2. By amending subsection (f) to read:
"(f) As used in this section:
"Breach of a material term" means the failure of a party to perform an obligation under the rental agreement or lease, which constitutes the consideration for entering into the contract and includes the failure to make a timely payment of rent.
"Commodity" means any
good or service necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of
Hawaii; provided that this term shall include[
,] but not be limited to:
materials; merchandise; supplies; equipment; resources; and other articles of
commerce that shall include food; water; ice; chemicals; petroleum products;
construction materials; or residential dwellings.
"Fixed-term lease" means a lease for real property that specifies its beginning date and its termination date as calendar dates, or contains a formula for determining the beginning and termination dates; and the application of the formula as of the date of the agreement will produce a calendar date for the beginning and termination of the lease.
"Periodic tenancy" means a tenancy wherein real property is leased for an indefinite time with monthly or other periodic rent reserved. A periodic tenancy may be created by express agreement of the parties, or by implication upon the expiration of a fixed-term lease when neither landlord nor tenant provides the other with written notice of termination and the tenant retains possession of the premises for any period of time after the expiration of the original term.
"Severe warning" means the issuance, by the National Weather Service, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, United States Geological Survey, or other public authority, of a public notification that a dangerous condition exists that could impact the State, or any portion of it, within a specified period of time. "Severe warning" includes warnings of coastal inundation, high surf, flash flooding, volcano, tsunami, or hurricane.
"Unfit for occupancy"
means that a residential dwelling unit has been damaged to the extent that the
appropriate county agency determines that the unit creates a dangerous or
unsanitary situation and is dangerous to the occupants or [
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Emergency Management; Prices; Gouging; Declarations; Proclamations
Specifies that a prohibition on the increase of prices of essential commodities during a state of emergency expires 72 hours after the effective date and time of the initial declaration or any supplemental declaration, unless the governor or mayor specifically includes within a proclamation the commodities that are subject to the declaration.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.