CAPWATCH 2nd Lateral Report

CAPWATCHAll these bills are in their last committee. The BIGGIE for CAP is continuing to push on the prison building. We need more information, a real exploration of alternatives and lots of discussion (not government monologues) before committing millions of dollars to another huge public project.

The bills that CAP SUPPORTS IN OUR ORDER OF PRIORITY are:

Improving the Quality of Justice:

HB 1046 SD1 – COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT (WAM)

HB 2561 HD1 – PENAL CODE REVIEW BILL  (JDL – MON. 3.28)

HB 2391 SD1 – RELEASE OF CERTAIN MISDEMEANANTS, PETTY MISDEMEANANTS (JDL)

Reentry:

HB 2630 HD1 – HAWAI`I CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES SALES OF PRODUCTS TO PUBLIC  (FIN)

HB 2166 SD1 – LOW INCOME RENTER CREDIT (or any similar bills)  (FIN)

SB 2679 SD1 – CAPPING PAYDAY LOANS  (FIN)

SB 2392 HD2 – NALOXONE (OPIOID ANTAGONIST)  (FIN)

Other Important Justice Issues:

HB 1774 HD 1 – OUTREACH AND SUPPORT FOR HOMELESS YOUTH (WAM)

HB 1559 HD 2 – ASSET FORFEITURE (WAM)

HB 1046 HD2  SD1      WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT                        WAM   
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB1046_SD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd ReadingUNANIMOUS – 1 Aye with Reservations: DeCoite
The SD1 made the bill ready to go by inserting specific amounts for the amount the court is required to award a successful petitioner for each year of actual confinement ($50,000), the maximum amount awarded to a petitioner in additional compensation for extraordinary circumstances ($100,000), and the maximum amount in reasonable attorneys’ fees ($10,000) and  changing the effective date from July 1, 2030, to upon approval. WE NEED TO GET WAM TO SCHEDULE AND PASS IT OUT.

 

HB 2561 HD1              PENAL CODE REVIEW BILL (135 PAGES)        JDL 3.28.16   
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2561_HD1_.pdf
3.4.16 PASSED 3rd  Reading  (Choy, Fukumoto Chang, Har, Ichiyama voting aye with reservations; Matsumoto, McDermott, Thielen voting no (3) and Representative(s) DeCoite, Saiki, Tupola excused (3).)

This bill has been opposed by prosecutors for 2 reasons 1) it increases the theft thresholds and 2) removes meth into regular drug statute (out of mandatory minimums)

 

HB 2391 HD2 SD1       EARLY RELEASE OF CERTAIN MISDEM          JDL
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2391_SD1_.HTM
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – 36-15 (NO VOTES: Aquino, Choy, Cullen, DeCoite, Har, Kawakami, Matsumoto, McDermott, Ohno, Oshiro, Thielen, Tokioka, Tupola, Ward, Yamane) (the underlined Reps are allegedly Democrats)
CAP SUPPORTS!  Misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors are the lowest category of crime. As of 12.7.15  there  were 281 sentenced and pre-trial misdemeanants incarcerated statewide. If calculated at $137/day – that costs more than $38,000 a day and more than $1 million a month. If only 50% of these folks were released, wouldnʻt it make sense to spend that $500,000 a month on community programs for those released and others needing services? This bill has been amended a couple of times and includes only nonviolent lawbreakers and has severalcaveats for ineligibility such as: person denied bail or whose bail is more than $5,000; charged with or convicted of or is on probation or parole for a serious crime; arrested or convicted for abuse of family or household members; or arrested for or convicted of any other crime of violence. It also includes language to clarify:  the order of release does NOT dismiss or terminate charges; director must notify  prosecutor of the release; director must create policies and procedures for the release of pre-trial and sentenced misdemeanants and petty misdemeanants; director can impose conditions in court order; and violation of conditions of release may result in revocation or other court-imposed conditions.

 The SD1 amended the bill by requiring the director to consider circumstances of individualʻs offense, removing  requirement for release order with court, requiring court notification w/I 24 hours of release and it is prospective, meaning that it only applies to individuals whose crimes occurred AFTER enactment of this law.  IN OTHER WORDS, THIS LAST AMENDMENT WOULD DO NOTHING TO RELIEVE OVERCROWING NOW. I donʻt understand why the committee did that.

 

SB 2630 SD1 HD1       SALE OF CRAFTS BY INCARER PERSONS        FIN
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2630_HD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – 24-0 (Riviere excused)
CAP SUPPORTS! This is a good bill that helps men and women develop marketable job skills and allows Hawai`i Correctional Industries to sell products to the public. This bill was amended to make it more clear about products that could be sold and deleted the reporting requirement (which HCI didnʻt oppose). Basically they put deleted the contents of the Senate bill and inserted the contents of the House bill (HB 2188).

 

HB 2166 HD1 SD1       LOW INCOME RENTERS CREDIT                    WAM 3.29.16
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2166_SD1 .pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3RD Reading – UNANIMOUS

 

SB 2679 SD1                CHECK CASHING; ANNUAL % RATE               FIN      
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2679_SD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading –  UNANIMOUS (24 AYES; 1 excused (Riviere)
CAP SUPPORTS! It will be a BIG help if we can at least get the cap at 36%. These payday loans target the most vulnerable members of our community, including those exiting imprisonment.

SB 2392 SD2 HD2       NALOXONE                                                     FIN    
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2392_HD2_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS (24 AYES; 1 excused (Riviere)
CAP SUPPORTS! This bill is supported public health folks. No one has to die from an overdose. Hawai`iʻs poisoning rate has increased dramatically and it is not all from illegal drugs, but from prescribed opioids, like oxycodone. Making this medication available and holding first responders and harm reduction organizations harmless for saving a life is a best practice. When this bill passes, Hawai`I will have implemented 8 of the 10 best public health practices.

HB 1774 HD1  SD1      OUTREACH TO HOMELESS YOUTH                WAM 
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB1774_SD1 .pdf
3.4.16 PASSED 3rd Reading  – UNANIMOUS
CAP SUPPORTS! This is an important bill to help houseless youth and families. The Human Services Committee report recommends funding $1,700,000 for additional outreach to homeless individuals and families with children; and $300,000 for outreach to unaccompanied homeless youth. Appleseed said it very clearly in their testimony: “By funding a robust system of outreach, we can connect homeless individuals, families and youth with the services they need soon after they become homeless, saving significant financial and human costs. HB 1774 is a smart investment that will, in the long run, save both lives and dollars.” 

The SD1 amended the bill to appropriate $300,000 to the Office of Youth Services for outreach to houseless youth. This is really important since the “sit/lie law” has been having a great impact on these youth. (The laws targeting the houseless in Honolulu were brought to us by Tulsi G. when she was on the council)

 

HB 1559 HD2              ASSET FORFEITURE                                         JDL  
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/hb1559_HD2_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – 50 -1 (Kawakami voting NO)
CAP SUPPORTS! Good bill that CAP will pick up and support. No forfeiture without a conviction! Law enforcement is against this bill which would impact these slush funds.

 

SB 2833 SD2 HD1       LOW INCOME RENTER’S CREDIT                   FIN      
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2833_HD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS (24 AYES; 1 excused (Riviere)
CAP does not have expertise in housing, therefore, we follow the lead of Hawai`i Appleseed because they have done outreach and analysis on housing issues. We support this as a way to facilitate reentry for those exiting imprisonment.

HB 2744 HD1 SD1       LOW INCOME RENTERS CREDIT                    WAM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2744_SD1 .pdf
3.3.15 PASSED 3rd Reading in House – UNANIMOUS
Kat needs to do a little digging on these low income renter bills. She doesn’t see any testimony from Appleseed and she knows they were working on this. Thatʻs a red flag for us. We know there are groups working on housing issues. She’ll keep you posted, but for now, CAP is not going to testify if Appleseed doesnʻt support. Kat spoke with Appleseed and they do support this measure and all renter credits, so CAP will support.

 

BILLS CAP DOES NOT SUPPORT:

SB 3034 SD1 HD1       CONSTIT AMEND RE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS          FIN
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB3034_HD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS
CAP is OPPOSED to amending the constitution. Most of the rights afforded in this bill are already in statute. CAP has heard from victims that they feel exploited, then ignored and abandoned by law enforcement and prosecutors. How would a constitutional amendment change law enforcement behavior? Law enforcement and the prosecutors need training in how to treat victims and keep them safe and engaged. This bill has several unintended consequences.

 

SB 2916 SD1 HD1       JRI – WIGGLING OUT OF ACT 139                   JUD
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/SB2916_HD1_.pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – UNANIMOUS  (1 excused – Riviere)
CAP OPPOSES!  The few good things that were left in the 2012 JRI bills have been either systematically ignored by the department or stripped by the legislature. Of course, the state was more than happy to take the federal money but when it came to actually implementing the purpose of JRI…well not so much. This bill is infuriating because it widens the net. Jeremy Travis, one of the authors of The Growth of Incarceration in the US and President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC has said “As a society we’ve become more and more punitive even though crime is at its lowest rate ever. We put people in prison for offenses that would have received a light sanction in former times.”  We need to stop this conservative lock `em up push to incarcerate. Educate…Donʻt Incarcerate! This is another one of those bills that makes you wonder about our legislature: Hereʻs an excerpt from our testimony about why the bill makes no sense:  Community Alliance on Prisons is in opposition to this measure because this bill applies to “any paroled prisoner retaken and reimprisoned.” Only felons can be paroled.  There is no such thing as a misdemeanor firearms offense for a parolee.  The legislators really know very little about jail v prisons; misdemeanors v felonies; probation v parole and the fact that the committee just passed the bill without even checking with their attorneys speaks loudly about their commitment to justice. THIS IS WHY YOUR VOICE AND EXPERIENCE IS NEEDED. KAT IS ONE PERSON SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF MANY; HOWEVER,  WE NEED HUNDREDS TO SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!

 

HB 2388 HD3  SD1      NEW CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES                   WAM
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/HB2388_SD1 .pdf
3.8.16 PASSED 3rd Reading – 50-1 1 aye with reservations: Jordan; 1 no vote: Tupola
 CAP OPPOSES! Although we acknowledge that OCCC and MCCC are in shameful condition, we remain concerned that our jails have become our de facto mental health facilities. The government appears to acknowledge this, yet wants to build a big jail when we have too many people suffering from a variety of mental health problems and too many people who are in jail because they live unsheltered. Interestingly, the bill says in Part I: “The purpose of this Act is to facilitate in an expeditious and efficient manner the development or expansion of in-state correctional facilities by: (1)  Clarifying the governor’s authority to negotiate for the construction of a correctional facility to include the authority to negotiate for construction of a jail, such as that needed on Maui, and aligning environmental impact statement and assessment requirements for such a jail with generally applicable requirements;  (2)  Requiring the governor to commission a feasibility study that includes reconstructing the Oahu community correctional center with a smaller footprint on the land that it currently occupies and redeveloping the remainder of the site WHY DOESNʻT OCCC HAVE THE SAME EIS REQUIREMENTS???; and (3)  Appropriating funds for reconstruction of the Oahu community correctional center and the relocation of the Maui community correctional center. $14 MILLION HAS ALREADY BEEN SPENT ON MCCC PLANS – WHAT IS GOING ON?

And the “community partnering” statute has been relegated to a community hearing. Been to hundreds of them over the decades. No dialog,,,government does a dog and pony show, the community speaks – the government doesn’t answer and says, “Thank you, now sit down and shut up.” THIS IS NOT PARTNERING.

The HD1 is equally confusing. Section 1 talks about Halawa being the perfect place and then the bill goes on about a high rise jail (ala FDC) on the current site of OCCC. Confusing language re EIS – I think that is purposeful.  CAP wants the public to see a breakdown of how many folks are mentally ill, how many were living unsheltered at the time of arrest, and how many are suffering from substance disorders. Then – and only then – should Hawai`i THOUGHTFULLY, DELIBERATIVELY AND INCLUSIVELY decide what needs to be done. FIRST, DEVELOP THE SOFTWARE AND THEN DEVELOP THE HARDWARE to implement the software. WE ARE GOING ABOUT THIS ALL WRONG. There are other things we can do. Building a criminal underclass is NOT a successful safety strategy toward community safety. In fact, it creates more harm! There are evidence-based strategies that will help Hawai`i achieve the desired outcome: safe, healthy and just communities! WE CAN DO IT!

 

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