Public Policy

The 2015 Hawai'i State Legislative Session

During the 2015 legislative session, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) tracked over seventy bills and resolutions relating directly or indirectly to sexual violence in a number of areas of the law, including Hawai'i's penal code, public safety, family courts and victims' rights.

Hawai'i lawmakers passed three bills supported by SATC this session that are particularly important for survivors of sexual violence.

Act 119 (House Bill 500), the Executive Budget for fiscal years 2015 - 2016 and 2016 -2017 that was signed into law by Governor David Ige on June 12, 2015, includes $380,000 of additional funds for Statewide Sexual Assault Services for fiscal year 2015 - 2016.

Act 222 (Senate Bill 387), which was signed into law on July 9, 2015, establishes a task force to review and make recommendations to revise the University of Hawai'i System's Executive Policy on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Victim service organizations, including SATC, will serve as members of the taskforce.

Finally, Act 139 (House Bill 1440), which was signed into law on June 25, 2015, appropriates funds to support the Hawai'i Keiki: Health and Ready to Learn Program, which provides for additional school nurses, improving schools' ability to respond to and report suspected cases of childhood sexual abuse.

All three of these measures contribute substantively to improve our state's response to sexual violence, by making allowing the development and implementation of additional resources to better help survivors, their families and their communities throughout the islands.

In addition to these three measures, SATC also supported the successful Senate confirmation of three gubernatorial appointees to leadership positions in State governmental organizations that impact survivors of sexual violence. These include Annelle Amaral, who was confirmed as a member of the Hawai'i Paroling Authority (Governor's Message 801); Martha Ross, who was confirmed as a member of the Crime Victim Compensation Commission (Governor's Message 636); and Douglas Chin, who was confirmed as the Attorney General of the State of Hawai'i (Governor's Message 513).

 

If you would like additional information regarding this legislative session or the SATC's public policy advocacy, please contact Justin Murakami, Policy Research Associate, at (808) 535-7600 or justin.murakami@kapiolani.org.