REPORT TITLE:
Consumer Advocacy


DESCRIPTION:  Enables the division of consumer advocacy to retain
its own legal counsel.  Repeals authority of the Hawaiian home
lands trust individual claims review panel to hire and retain
legal counsel.  Appropriates funds to hire staff attorneys.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        2467
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     A BILL FOR AN ACT

RELATING TO THE CONSUMER ADVOCATE.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  Section 28-8.3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 2 amended as follows:
 
 3      1.  By amending subsection (a) to read:
 
 4      "(a)  No department of the State other than the attorney
 
 5 general may employ or retain any attorney, by contract or
 
 6 otherwise, for the purpose of representing the State or the
 
 7 department in any litigation, rendering legal counsel to the
 
 8 department, or drafting legal documents for the department;
 
 9 provided that the foregoing provision shall not apply to the
 
10 employment or retention of attorneys:
 
11      (1)  By the public utilities commission, the labor and
 
12           industrial relations appeals board, and the Hawaii
 
13           labor relations board;
 
14      (2)  By any court or judicial or legislative office of the
 
15           State;
 
16      (3)  By the legislative reference bureau;
 
17      (4)  By any compilation commission that may be constituted
 
18           from time to time;
 
19      (5)  By the real estate commission for any action involving
 
20           the real estate recovery fund;
 

 
Page 2                                                     2467
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        


 1      (6)  By the contractors license board for any action
 
 2           involving the contractors recovery fund;
 
 3      (7)  By the trustees for any action involving the travel
 
 4           agency recovery fund;
 
 5      (8)  By the office of Hawaiian affairs;
 
 6      (9)  By the department of commerce and consumer affairs for
 
 7           the enforcement of violations of chapters 480 and 485;
 
 8     (10)  As grand jury counsel;
 
 9    [(11)  By the Hawaiian home lands trust individual claims
 
10           review panel;
 
11    (12)]  (11) By the Hawaii health systems corporation or any of
 
12           its facilities;
 
13    [(13)] (12) By the auditor;
 
14    [(14)] (13) By the office of ombudsman;
 
15    [(15)] (14) By the insurance division;
 
16    [(16)] (15) By the University of Hawaii; [or]
 
17     (16)  By the division of consumer advocacy; or
 
18     (17)  By a department, in the event the attorney general, for
 
19           reasons deemed by the attorney general good and
 
20           sufficient, declines, to employ or retain an attorney
 
21           for a department; provided that the governor thereupon
 
22           waives the provision of this section."
 
23      2.  By amending subsection (c) to read:
 

 
Page 3                                                     2467
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        


 1      "(c)  Every attorney employed by any department on a full-
 
 2 time basis, except an attorney employed by the public utilities
 
 3 commission, the labor and industrial relations appeals board, the
 
 4 Hawaii labor relations board, the office of Hawaiian affairs, the
 
 5 Hawaii health systems corporation, the department of commerce and
 
 6 consumer affairs in prosecution of consumer complaints, insurance
 
 7 division, the division of consumer advocacy, the University of
 
 8 Hawaii, [the Hawaiian home lands trust individual claims review
 
 9 panel,] or as grand jury counsel, shall be a deputy attorney
 
10 general."
 
11      SECTION 2.  Section 269-53, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
12 amended to read as follows:
 
13      "269-53  Legal counsel.  [The attorney general and the
 
14 attorney general's deputies shall act as legal counsel for the
 
15 consumer advocate.]  The director may appoint or retain without
 
16 regard to chapters 76 and 77 attorneys to provide legal services
 
17 for the division of consumer advocacy.  Nothing in this section
 
18 precludes the director of commerce and consumer affairs from
 
19 requesting and securing legal services from the attorney general
 
20 and the department of the attorney general."
 
21      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the public
 
22 utilities commission special fund the sum of $137,088.58 or so
 
23 much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001 to
 

 
Page 4                                                     2467
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        


 1 hire two staff attorneys who shall be exempt from chapters 76 and
 
 2 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
 
 3      SECTION 4.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the
 
 4 department of commerce and consumer affairs for the purposes of
 
 5 this Act.
 
 6      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
 7 New statutory material is underscored.
 
 8      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.