Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Measures address civil rights, prostitution offenses and domestic violence
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
– Three bills supported by the Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) were signed into law today by Governor David Ige. The bills, part of a package of measures introduced by the group this past session, address civil rights (Title IX), prostitution offenses, and domestic violence.

"This year's package reflects a strong collaboration between the women's community and the legislature," said WLC co-convener Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker (South and West Maui). "We worked with many different stakeholders to create thoughtful solutions to pressing issues like women's health care, domestic violence and gender equity."
The bipartisan WLC, is comprised of women elected to the State House of Representatives and the Senate. Along with Sen. Baker, the other co-conveners for 2019 include Representatives Lauren Matsumoto and Linda Ichiyama and Senator Laura H. Thielen.
"Thank you to our women's caucus members and to our male colleagues for their support of our WLC package," said Rep. Ichiyama (Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Āliamanu). "Today is the fruition of many months of hard work and we are grateful for everyone's contributions."
Each year, the WLC dedicates its package to an individual or organization that supports women and girls.  The caucus dedicated this bill package to U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, a founding member of the WLC, who attended today's bill signings.
"At a time when women’s rights are under assault across the country, it’s energizing to see how Hawaiʻi is stepping and fighting back – with women leading the way,” Senator Hirono said. “For more over two decades, the Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus has been an effective advocate to pass bills that make a difference in the lives of women across our state. As a founding member of the Caucus, I will continue fighting alongside its members to protect and advance women’s rights in Hawaiʻi.”
Bills signed today include:
HB 483 HD2 SD2 Civil Rights
This bill incorporates federal law regarding social groups and youth services organizations, same-sex living facilities, and sex-restricted scholarships and other forms of financial assistance into Act 110, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi 2018. It extends the deadline for the legislative reference bureau to complete a study requested by Act 110 on existing federal Title IX enforcement practices and procedures on the federal level and in other jurisdictions.
SB 1037 SD1 HD1 CD1 Domestic Violence
This bill amends the offense of abuse of family or household member by amending the type of physical abuse that constitutes strangulation to include blocking the nose and mouth or applying pressure to the chest. It also clarifies that infliction of a visible bodily injury is not required to establish the offense.
SB1039 HD1 CD1 Prostitution Offences
This bill permits persons convicted of certain prostitution offenses to file a motion to vacate the conviction if the defendant is not convicted of another offense under the Penal Code within three years of the prostitution offense and without regard to the defendant's status as a victim of trafficking or promoting prostitution.
"I am proud of the work we are doing to improve the lives of women and girls in Hawaii, from ensuring quality prenatal care, to access to education and supporting healthy relationships," said Senator Laura H. Thielen (Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimānalo, Hawai‘i Kai, Portlock) .

"As in past years, we worked across the aisle to promote a positive agenda for women through the Legislature," said Rep. Matsumoto (Schofield, Mokulē‘ia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres, Mililani). "These bills reflect not only the diversity of issues we take on, but also the strength in our partnerships."
The bill package also includes SB1033 SD2 HD2 signed into law May 1, Act 32. The bill establishes licensure of midwives, temporarily exempts birth attendants and exempts Native Hawaiian healers from licensure requirements.

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