Public Policy

The 2013 Hawai'i State Legislative Session

The Hawai'i State Legislature has adjourned for 2013. During this legislative session, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) tracked over one hundred bills and resolutions relating directly or indirectly to sexual violence in a number of areas of the law, including Hawai'i's penal code, public safety, family courts and victims' rights.

Two bills that passed this session are particularly significant for survivors of sexual violence.

The first bill, HB 411, requires all Hawai'i hospitals to provide medically and factually accurate and unbiased information about emergency contraception to female sexual assault survivors who present for emergency services and to dispense the medication to survivors who request it. For nearly twenty years, the SATC and others provided education and support for the bill, and this year it passed by an overwhelming majority of the Legislature before heading to the Governor's desk. HB 411 was signed into law as Act 27 by Governor Neil Abercrombie on April 22, 2013.

The second bill, SB 529, was introduced for the first time this session and passed without any opposition. It requires the family courts to deny custody and visitation to a person who is convicted of a sexual assault with respect to the child conceived through that assault, and it authorizes the family courts to terminate the perpetrator's parental rights. SB 529 was signed into law as Act 253 by the Governor on July 1, 2013.

Additionally, a number of bills related to human trafficking also passed the Legislature this session: SB 192, making solicitation of a minor a crime; HB 1187, designating January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and including sex and labor trafficking within the scope of the Child Protective Act, if a parent or legal caregiver is directly involved in the allegations or fails to protect the child from the harm; SB 194, adding solicitation of prostitution to the list of offenses that are ineligible for a deferred acceptance of guilty plea; and HB 1068, requiring certain employers to post signage to inform employees about human trafficking and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.


Measures the SATC Supported that Passed:


HB411 HD2: RELATING TO HOSPITAL EMERGENCY COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS.

Requires all Hawai'i hospitals to provide medically and factually accurate and unbiased information about emergency contraception to female sexual assault survivors who present for emergency services and to dispense the medication to survivors who request it.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 27.


SB529 SD1 HD1: RELATING TO PARENTAL RIGHTS.

Prohibits family courts from awarding custody of or visitation with a child to a natural parent who has been convicted of rape or sexual assault that resulted in the child's conception. Authorizes the family courts to terminate parental rights of the convicted natural parent.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 253.


SB1016 SD1 HD2: RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF COVERED OFFENDERS.

Amends Hawa'i's covered offender registration law to comply with key aspects of Title 1 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Among other things, requires persons convicted of sex offenses in other jurisdictions that are required to register in the jurisdictions of conviction to register in Hawai'i; clarifies the periodic verification requirements; and creates new offenses for covered offenders who fail to comply with the verification requirements.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 64.


SB192 HD1 CD1: RELATING TO PROSTITUTION.

Makes solicitation of a minor for prostitution a crime and requires a person convicted of the crime to register with the sexual offender registry. Increases the statute of limitations to bring a cause of action for coercion into prostitution and adds certain solicitation offenses to the State's forfeiture laws.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 247.


HB1187 SD2 CD1: RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

Designates January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Specifically includes minor victims of sex and labor trafficking within the scope of the Child Protective Act and laws relating to the State's child abuse law, if a parent or legal caregiver is directly involved in the allegations or fails to protect the child from the harm.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 246.


Measures the SATC Supported that Failed to Pass:


SB509 HD1: PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE I OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII RELATING TO RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS.

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Hawaii guaranteeing that crime victims and their immediate surviving family members have specific rights related to information pertaining to and participation in the criminal justice process.
Bill died. Bill passed the Senate and House Public Safety Committee but was not heard by the House Judiciary Committee.


SB880 SD1 HD1: RELATING TO SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR UNDER THE AGE OF TWELVE YEARS.

Requires the court to impose a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment without possibility of parole or probation for a person convicted of certain acts of sexual assault against a minor under the age of twelve years.
Bill died. Bill passed the Senate and House Public Safety Committee but was not heard by the House Judiciary Committee.


HB895 HD1: RELATING TO MARRIAGE LICENSE FEES.

Increases the marriage license fee and establishs allocation to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Special Fund.
Bill died. Bill passed House Health and Human Services Committees but was not heard by the House Finance Committee.


Other bills of interest:


SB194 SD1 HD1: RELATING TO CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.

Adds offenses related to solicitation of prostitution to list of offenses ineligible for deferred acceptance of guilty plea.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 53.


HB1068 HD1 SD2 CD1: RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

Requires certain employers to display a poster that provides specified information relating to human trafficking and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.
Bill passed. Governor signed into law as Act 245.

 

If you would like additional information regarding this legislative session or the SATC's public policy advocacy, please contact Justin Murakami, Policy Research Associate, at (808) 535-7600 or justin.murakami@kapiolani.org.