Civil Rts.; Hate Crimes

Establishes a temporary commission on hate crimes to investigate
and report on whether there is a need to enact hate crime
legislation in the State. 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.1657       
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Crimes and threats against persons because of
 2 their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender,
 3 age, or disability are a significant and growing problem in areas
 4 across the nation.  In response to this phenomenon, many states
 5 have enacted laws that increase the penalty for crimes motivated
 6 by hate or bigotry.
 7      The purpose of this Act is to authorize the formation of a
 8 hate crimes commission to investigate and compile a report on
 9 whether there is a need to enact hate crime legislation in the
10 State of Hawaii.
11      SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established a temporary advisory
12 hate crimes commission to investigate and report on whether there
13 is a need to enact hate crime legislation in the State.  The
14 commission shall be composed of nine members, of whom three each
15 shall be appointed by the governor, the president of the senate,
16 and the speaker of the house of representatives, respectively.
17 The members appointed to the commission shall be selected on the
18 basis of their knowledge and experience in civil rights or law
19 enforcement matters.

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                                     H.B. NO.1657       

 1      (b)  The commission shall meet no later than September 1,
 2 1999, and on a regular basis thereafter as necessary to perform
 3 the duties of the commission.  The commission shall hold a series
 4 of public hearings, with a least one such hearing in each county.
 5 The commissioners shall select one of their members as the chair
 6 of the commission.  Any action taken by the commission shall be
 7 by a simple majority of the members of the commission.
 8      (c)  The commission shall solicit and be responsible for
 9 collecting, analyzing, classifying, and reporting data, including
10 incident reports, records, statistics, testimony, and other
11 information, relating to hate crimes from law enforcement
12 agencies including county prosecutor offices, the judiciary, and
13 other public and private sources relating to hate crimes.  The
14 commission shall prepare a comprehensive report of its findings
15 and recommendations for action.  The commission shall transmit
16 copies of the hate crimes report to the legislature, the
17 governor, the attorney general, the department of public safety,
18 and the judiciary no later than twenty days before the convening
19 of the Regular Session of 2001.
20      (d)  The members shall serve without compensation but shall
21 be reimbursed for necessary expenses, including necessary travel
22 expenses when attending meetings of the commission.  The
23 commission shall be within the office of the lieutenant governor

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                                     H.B. NO.1657       

 1 for administrative purposes only.
 2      (e)  For purposes of this Act, "hate crime" means any
 3 criminal act coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and
 4 bias, including but not limited to a threatened, attempted, or
 5 completed overt act motivated at least in part by racial,
 6 religious, ethnic, handicap, or gender prejudice, or that
 7 otherwise deprives another person of the person's constitutional
 8 rights by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or that seek to
 9 interfere with or disrupt a person's exercise of constitutional
10 rights through harassment or intimidation.
11      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
12 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $       , or so much
13 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, and the
14 same sum, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year
15 2000-2001, for the support of the hate crimes commission.  The
16 sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of the
17 lieutenant governor for the purposes of this Act.
18      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999; and
19 shall be repealed on June 30, 2001.
21                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________