Small Business Defender

Gives the small business defender the discretion to refuse any
case, limits the small business defender's liability; moves the
small business defender from the legislature to B&F; appropriates
funds.  (SD2)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Act 168, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, is amended
 2 by amending section 3 to read as follows:
 3      "SECTION 3.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by
 4 adding a new chapter to title 3 to be appropriately designated
 5 and to read as follows:
 6                             "CHAPTER
 7                      SMALL BUSINESS DEFENDER
 8         -1 Small business defender.(a)  There is established
 9 within the [legislature] department of budget and finance a small
10 business defender.  The small business defender shall be
11 appointed by the director of finance from a list submitted by the
12 senate president and speaker of the house of representatives.
13 The [senate president and speaker of the house of
14 representatives] director of finance shall determine the salary
15 of the small business defender[.  The senate president and
16 speaker of the house of representatives] and may also appoint
17 administrative support personnel who shall assist and support the
18 small business defender.
19      (b)  Unless otherwise specifically provided by law, and upon

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 1 written request by a small business, the small business defender
 2 may represent, defend, and provide legal representation to any
 3 small business, during any adjudicatory or contested proceeding
 4 involving any civil citation issued by a state or county agency
 5 in which the small business is a party; provided that the small
 6 business shall seek its own legal representation whenever the
 7 potential remedies against the small business may include fines
 8 or penalties that exceed $25,000 or may result in the suspension
 9 or revocation of a license.  The small business defender shall
10 have the discretion to accept or refuse any case [for good
11 cause].  The small business defender may also engage in the
12 following activities:
13      (1)  Advocate and negotiate, upon consultation with the
14           small business regulatory review board, with federal,
15           state, and county agencies and officials on any matter
16           relating to and promoting the interests of small
17           business;
18      (2)  Conduct investigations to secure information useful in
19           the lawful administration of any provision in this
20           chapter;
21      (3)  Refer any appropriate matter to the auditor or
22           ombudsman for examination or investigation; and

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 1      (4)  Do any and all things necessary to effectuate the
 2           purposes of this chapter.
 3      (c)  [Each small business shall waive and release any and
 4 all claims, damages, causes of action, and any request for relief
 5 made against the small business defender or staff, the State or
 6 counties, their officers, employees, or agents, and arising from
 7 the legal representation of the small business by the small
 8 business defender provided under this section.] No small business
 9 may assert any claim or cause of action against the small
10 business defender or its staff, the State, or the counties based
11 on any act or omission in the representation of the small
12 business except as provided in chapter 662.
13         -2  Annual report.  The small business defender shall
14 submit an annual report to the legislature detailing its
15 activities and expenditures no later than twenty days prior to
16 convening of the regular session."
17      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
18 revenues of the State of Hawaii, the sum of $         , or so
19 much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000-2001, to
20 fund the small business defender position and other support
21 personnel established under Act 168, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998.
22      SECTION 3.  The sum appropriated shall be expended by the

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 1 department of budget and finance for the purposes of this Act.
 2      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 3 New statutory material is underscored.
 4      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.