146
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONDUCT A LEGAL REVIEW
    OF CONCERNS REGARDING AUTOMATIC PERMIT APPROVAL.


 1        WHEREAS, serious questions remained unanswered when Act
 2   164, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, the automatic permit approval
 3   statute, was passed in 1998; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, no state agency has met the December 31, 1999,
 6   deadline to adopt rules pertaining to automatic permit
 7   approval; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, the Corporation Counsel of the City and County of
10   Honolulu has stated that automatic permit approval could apply
11   to permits and licenses even though rules are not in place; and
12   
13        WHEREAS, Conference Committee Report No. 143, from the
14   Nineteenth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
15   of 1998, stated "Your Committee on Conference notes the
16   continued concerns of some that automatic permit approval will
17   be misused to short-circuit existing public input processes.
18   Your Committee is confident that agencies will account for the
19   preservation of such processes in their rulemaking", however,
20   with the failure of state agencies to draft and adopt rules,
21   these legitimate concerns still remain; and
22   
23        WHEREAS, Conference Committee Report No. 143, also stated,
24   "Your Committee on Conference also notes continuing concerns
25   with the interplay between automatic permit approval and
26   various board and commission quorum requirements.  Your
27   Committee deleted the quorum amendment sections of this bill
28   because the various quorum possibilities appeared to require
29   further deliberation, and your Committee believes that the 1999
30   legislative session should address this issue as the automatic
31   permit approval rules come into effect", however, the 1999
32   Legislature was assured by representatives of the state
33   administration that as agencies adopted rules, these concerns
34   would be addressed, and therefore, the administration requested
35   that the Legislature wait until agencies adopted rules; and
36   
37        WHEREAS, the current language of the automatic permit

 
Page 2                                                     146
                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        


 1   approval statute may force unintended outcomes from a board or
 2   commission; and
 3   
 4        WHEREAS, if a time period for action expires and less than
 5   a majority of a board or commission is in support of a permit
 6   or license, or a quorum is not maintained, then a permit or
 7   license may be automatically granted, even if it failed to
 8   garner the required affirmative support for approval; and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii is constitutionally obliged
11   to protect important agricultural lands and native Hawaiian
12   rights (Article XI, Section 3, and Article XII, Section 7, of
13   the State Constitution, respectively) but such issues have yet
14   to be addressed in rulemaking; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, a situation could arise where an agency is
17   considering a complex environmental assessment or impact
18   statements that are required pursuant to Chapter 343, Hawaii
19   Revised Statutes (HRS), but the deadline passes, preventing
20   adequate environmental disclosure; and
21   
22        WHEREAS, a situation could arise where additional
23   information is required by a department or agency to promote
24   fully-informed decisionmaking, but the deadline passes, denying
25   the decisionmakers the opportunity to be fully informed in
26   their deliberations; and
27   
28        WHEREAS, a situation could arise where a contested case
29   hearing is requested pursuant to Chapter 91, HRS, and for any
30   other period for administrative appeals and review, but the
31   deadline passes, denying citizens their rights to due process;
32   now, therefore,
33   
34        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
35   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
36   of 2000, the Senate concurring, that the Attorney General
37   review the legal and logistical questions pertaining to
38   automatic permit approval, including case law and statutes
39   enacted in other states pertaining to automatic permit
40   approval; and
41   
42        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Attorney General recommend

 
 
 
 
 
Page 3                                                     146
                                  H.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        


 1   statutory changes to address the concerns regarding quorum,
 2   rulemaking, constitutional protections, and citizens' rights to
 3   due process; and
 4   
 5        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Attorney General submit a
 6   report on the Attorney General's findings and recommendations,
 7   including draft legislation, to the Legislature no later than
 8   twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of
 9   2001; and
10   
11        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
12   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to all state and county
13   agencies, boards, and commissions, the Attorney General, and
14   the Governor.
15 
16 
17 
18                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________