CAPWATCH Updates: Jan. 31 to Feb. 2

CAPWATCHHere is an update on bills that CAP is either watching or testifying on:

SB 503 Health Insurance; Mental Illness Benefits; Covered Services; Case Management Services; Victims of Sexual Violence CPH, WAM
Requires health insurance coverage for case management services by licensed mental health providers for victims of sexual violence. INOUYE, BAKER, ENGLISH, ESPERO, GREEN, KEITH-AGARAN, KIDANI, K. RHOADS, SHIMABUKURO, L. THIELEN, TOKUDA, S. Chang, Ihara, Kim, Kouchi

*1.31.17 CPH PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes in CPH were as follows: 4 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ruderman; Aye w/res: none ; 0 No: none; 3 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Ihara, Kidani.

Testimony &  Late Testimony

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HB 84  Native Hawaiians; Crim Justice; Data Management;  ($)  OMH, JUD, FIN
Authorizes the Department of the Attorney General to administer a statewide program for management of data related to the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system. Establishes positions. Makes appropriation. GATES, CREAGAN, LOPRESTI, TAKAYAMA

*1.31.17 OMH DEFERRED BILL (DEAD)

Testimony 

Kat attended the hearing, however, CAP did not offer testimony. The AG’s oral testimony indicated that if the bill passed and they were to put together a database they would then work on their comments on the 2010 OHA report because the testifier said they did not agree with the findings.

  • This is the problem with reopening controversial studies – it gives the opponents another attack opportunity

(The AG representative on the 2012 report said awful things about Hawaiians that prompted several task force members and me to complain to the AG’s office –  nothing happened and this person remained a member.)

  • The state already knows how many Hawaiians are in the criminal justice system, why do they need a database at the AG’s office?
  • The bill could be challenged constitutionally since it targets one particular group.
  • The bill offered no remedy for the overincarceration and overcriminalization of Hawaiians – just a database.
  • If the state wanted to do something to stop this injustice, they could do so right now, no database needed!
  • This is scary in light of federal actions this week. Who’s the next group to be targeted?

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SB 417 Children; Schools; Truancy; Informal Adjustment;  JDL
Provides that informal adjustment shall be prioritized over formal action for a child under family court jurisdiction solely as a result of truancy. KEITH-AGARAN, Kidani, Shimabukuro

*1.31.17  JDL PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in JDL were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Keith-Agaran, K. Rhoads, Gabbard, Kim, L. Thielen; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; and 0 Excused: none.

Testimony

This bill will cross over as JDL was the only committee referral. The House companion – HB 1344 has a JUD, FIN referral, however, it has not yet been scheduled.

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SB 305 Medical Marijuana Dispensary System; Dispensaries; Production Centers; Video Monitoring; Surveillance Recording Retention CPH, JDL
Specifies that video monitoring and recording of medical marijuana dispensary and production center premises shall be retained for a period of forty-five days.  BAKER, Nishihara

*2.1.17 CPH PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ihara, Ruderman; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; 2 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Kidani.

Testimony & Late Testimony

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SB 325 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries; Tax Revenues; Mental Health     CPH, WAM
Specifies that ten per cent of tax revenues collected from medical marijuana dispensaries shall be allocated to the mental health and substance abuse special fund. KEITH-AGARAN, Dela Cruz, Green, Kidani


*2.1.17 CPH PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes in CPH were as follows: 5 Aye(s): Senator(s) Baker, Nishihara, Espero, Ihara, Ruderman; Aye(s) with reservations: none ; 0 No(es): none; 2 Excused: Senator(s) S. Chang, Kidani.

Testimony & Late Testimony

Kat did not attend the hearing for these two cannabis bills and CAP did not testify. We are following these bills and will be offering testimony later in the session. Too much going on in the justice arena right now!

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HB 457 Community Court Outreach Project; Appropriation  JUD, FIN
Establishes a community court outreach project in the City and County of Honolulu, subject to the availability of funds and memoranda of agreements from the Judiciary, Prosecuting Attorney, and the Public Defender. Appropriates funds. TAKAYAMA, CREAGAN, DECOITE, KEOHOKALOLE, LOPRESTI, MIZUNO, NISHIMOTO, OSHIRO, THIELEN, Belatti, Evans, Gates

*2.1.17 JUD PASSED WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Nishimoto, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Johanson, Morikawa, Nakashima, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; 3 Excused: Representative(s) C. Lee, Oshiro, McDermott.

Testimony

This is the top-down Keith Kaneshiro bill that can work effectively along with LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program to reduce the jail population. The purpose is to:

  • Decrease the backlog of pending, low-level, non-violent cases;
  • Allow offenders to clear their pending cases;
  • Provide court orders for counseling, treatment, and/or referral to homeless services, on a case-by-case basis;
  • Provide consequences through community service instead of incarceration or fines.

The Community Court did not invite the community to participate in its formation so when they handled their first case on January 26th they were scrambling to get outreach workers to the courthouse because everyone was involved in the Point in Time (homeless) count. This is what happens when the community is shut out.

Conversely, the LEAD Hawai`i Hui has been meeting for 7 months and we have been working to build the infrastructure so that the program can succeed. Kat is so proud of our LEADer, Heather Lusk of CHOW, our service providers and outreach workers…they are full of compassion for the most vulnerable people in our community.

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HB 589 Judiciary; Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement; ($)      JUD, FIN
Appropriates funds to the Judiciary to retain mental health services and substance abuse treatment for the Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement program, which is an intensive supervisory program for persons on probation. KEOHOKALOLE, ICHIYAMA, MIZUNO, NAKASHIMA, WOODSON

*2.1.17 JUD PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 8 Ayes: Representative(s) Nishimoto, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Johanson, Morikawa, Nakashima, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; and 3 Excused: Representative(s) C. Lee, Oshiro, McDermott.

Testimony

There was no opposition to this bill.

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HB 307 DOE; Alternative Schools; JJ System; At-Risk Youth; $            EDN, JUD, FIN
Appropriates funds to the department of education for two alternative schools to provide ongoing education to juveniles involved in the justice system or at-risk of involvement in the justice system.  Appropriation.  SOUKI (Introduced by request of another party)

*2.1.17 EDN DEFERRED BILL (DEAD)

Testimony

This is the 3rd or 4th year that the prosecutors have been pushing for alternative schools, despite the plethora of research that concludes that aggregating at-risk youth is not a rehabilitative strategy…it promotes criminality. The bill should be called the full employment act for prosecutors. No wonder it is in Kaneshiro’s package! It will probably be back next year.

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HB 440 Government Contracts; Out-Of-State Private Prisons              PBS, JUD, FIN
Prohibits government contracts to develop or house inmates in out-of-state private correctional facilities. Clarifies that the State may contract with federal, state, and municipal governments to house inmates and develop correctional facilities. ING, CREAGAN, GATES, LOWEN, WOODSON, DeCoite, Nishimoto

*2.2.17 PBS DEFERRED BILL (DEAD)

No testimony posted.

Kat’s original read of the bill did not pick up that it was a law being amended to delete “private” correctional facility contracts and that the state could only contract for public prison beds in other states. Luckily a friend urged her to read it again. Mahalo Lorenn! She did and wrote testimony (in the public access room) hours before the hearing asking the committee the ignore my previous testimony (which I sent to the list) and to substitute it with our opposition testimony. Then she testified and apologized for her mis-read and urged the committee to kill the bill. So sorry about that. Good lesson to “Slow down…you’re movin’ too fast…got to make the morning last…”!

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HB 845 Inmates; Identification Cards; Reentry; ($)  PBS, JUD, FIN
Requires the Department of Public Safety in collaboration with county and state agencies to issue civil identification cards to inmates and to assist inmates in obtaining their birth certificate, social security card, and other relevant identification necessary for successful reentry.  GATES, CREAGAN, ING, C. LEE, LOWEN, OHNO, TAKAYAMA, DeCoite, LoPresti, Nakamura, Quinlan, Todd, Woodson

*2.2.17 PBS PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Takayama, LoPresti, Creagan, DeCoite, Gates, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: none; Noes: none; 1 Excused: Ing.

No testimony posted.

The Chair announced that the amendments were: to change “less than 6 months on their sentence”  to “less than 1 year on their sentence” and to add “federal”  agencies along with state and county. The amendments are not posted yet, however, Kat is worried because if the amendments are as stated by the Chair – they do not address the problem we and others raised about people on early release such as: work furlough, extended furlough, and community placement. As it reads “on their sentence” could be interpreted to mean their maximum sentence, which would cover the department for not doing it. She’ll let you know when the HD1 is out.

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HB 1246 Criminal Offenders; Pre-Trial Release; Alternative Programs; Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance; Appropriation ($)  PBS, JUD, FIN
Expands the authority of DPS to release certain pre-trial detainees and sentenced offenders to include felons. Requires electronic monitoring of released detainees and offenders. Authorizes electronic monitoring of offenders in programs that offer alternatives to incarceration. Appropriates funds. TAKAYAMA, BELATTI, BROWER, CACHOLA, CREAGAN, EVANS, GATES, KEOHOKALOLE, LOPRESTI, MCDERMOTT, NISHIMOTO, SAIKI, SOUKI, DeCoite, Ichiyama, Kobayashi, Todd

*2.2.17 PBS PASSED WITH AMENDMENTS. The votes were as follows: 5 Ayes: Representative(s) Takayama, LoPresti, Creagan; Ayes with reservations:  DeCoite, Gates; 1 Noes: Thielen; and 1 Excused: Ing.

No testimony posted.

Kat was at the hearing, however, CAP did not testify on this bill because last session, a really watered-down bill was passed allowing DPS to release “certain misdemeanants”. They still have not released anyone. They told the Budget committee last month that the first person would be released in February, now I hear they are backpedaling and say that the person will be released in March. (Gotta keep that budget fat).

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SB 506 Rape Collection Kits; ReporT; AG; Forensic Evidence           PSM,JDL/WAM
Requires annual reporting to the legislature by the AG of statistical data pertaining to the testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits. Provides certain rights to sexual assault survivors. Institutes mandatory testing requirements in accordance with AG guidelines. Requires AG to report to 2018 legislature on the progress of implementing AG guidelines.  L. THIELEN, BAKER, ESPERO, INOUYE, KEITH-AGARAN, KIM, NISHIHARA, SHIMABUKURO, TOKUDA, Kidani, Kouchi   

*2.2.17 PSM DEFERRED DECISIONMAKING UNTIL TUES. 2.7.16

Testimony & Late Testimony

Kat was at the hearing; CAP testified in support of the bill. Some of the information that came out during the hearing was shocking: 40% of the rape kits are tossed out by police and 90% of the kits that are kept remain untested. Wow does this seem like there is a concerted effort by law enforcement to solve crimes?

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SB 674 Criminal Procedure; Eyewitness Identification  PSM,JDL/WAM
Creates procedural and administrative requirements for law enforcement agencies for eyewitness identifications of suspects in criminal investigations. Establishes jury instructions when the court determines that the eyewitness identification is admissible. Requires the attorney general to establish procedures for the implementation of uniform statewide eyewitness identification procedures. KEITH-AGARAN, Dela Cruz, Gabbard, Nishihara, K. Rhoads, Ruderman, Wakai

*2.2.17 PSM PASSED UNAMENDED

Testimony & Late Testimony

CAP will work on getting the amendments we suggested to make the bill stronger.

 

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