S.B. NO.



















     SECTION 1.  The legislature recognizes that pursuant to current emergency management law in chapter 127A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, when the governor or a mayor declares a state of emergency, all commodities prices are frozen across the State or the respective county for the duration of the emergency period.  The legislature finds that the broad scope of price "freezing" has unintended consequences, as it effects businesses that are not in the area where the emergency is occurring, and affects prices of commodities that are not necessarily implicated by the emergency.  The legislature notes, for example, that during the emergency period declared several years ago for lava inundation on Hawaii island, businesses on other islands were unable to raise their prices to adjust to rising costs, even though those products were not affected by the emergency situation.

     Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to amend section 127A-30, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to provide that any prohibition on the increase of prices of essential commodities during a state of emergency shall apply only to those commodities specifically listed for price protection within the geographic area specified for that price protection by the governor's or mayor's proclamation.

     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 [weather] warning:

     (1)  There shall be prohibited any increase in the selling price of any commodity[,] specifically listed for price protection in the governor's or mayor's proclamation, or any supplementary proclamation, whether at the retail or wholesale level, in the geographic area that is [the subject of] specified for price protection by the proclamation, or [the severe weather warning;] any supplementary proclamation; and

     (2)  No 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 that:

          (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 [or], 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 [weather] 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 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.  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 [to the] neighborhood."

     SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Emergency Management; Proclamations; Price Gouging; Commodities



Provides that any prohibition on the increase of prices of essential commodities during a state of emergency shall only apply to those commodities specifically listed for price protection within the geographic area specified for that price protection by the governor's or mayor's proclamation.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.