Governor Signs Bills Expanding Protections, Support for Women and Keiki

Posted on Jul 1, 2013 in NEWS

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today enacted legislation that strengthens laws protecting the rights of women and children throughout Hawaii.

“I commend the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus, Commission on the Status of Women, and women’s advocates for their dedicated efforts in support of these measures, which address a wide variety of issues ranging from protections for domestic workers, to human trafficking, to recognition of the societal and health benefits of breastfeeding,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Many of these bills, now enacted as law, are the result of members of the community getting involved in the legislative process to protect the rights and safety of women and children.”
The Governor also signed bills that extend the voluntary foster care age to 21 as well as keep keiki safe from a parent who has been convicted of a sexual assault.

“SB529 not only shields the child from a convicted sex offender, it also protects the survivor from being further victimized,” the Governor said. “Through SB1340, which extends the voluntary foster care age to 21, we are sending a message to former foster youth that we will continue to support their transition to adulthood, independence and self-sufficiency. Doing so lays the foundation for long-term positive outcomes for youth when they leave foster care. It will also result in substantial cost savings in future government services.”
The Governor signed the following bills today:

SB535 (Relating to Labor) makes Hawaii the second state – after New York – to place basic labor protections for domestic workers into law. It also establishes basic rights and protections for domestic workers, entitles workers to overtime pay and time for meal and rest breaks, and provides basic civil rights protections against abuse and harassment.

HB1187 (Relating to Human Trafficking) designates January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and adds minor victims of sex and labor trafficking to the scope of the Child Protective Act and other state child abuse laws.

HB1068 (Relating to Human Trafficking) requires certain employers to display a poster that provides information relating to human trafficking and contact information for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.

SB192 (Relating to Prostitution) makes solicitation of a minor a crime and increases the statute of limitations to bring a cause of action for coercion into prostitution from 2 to 6 years. It also clarifies the minimum and maximum fine for a person convicted of committing the offense of prostitution; adds the offenses of solicitation of a minor for prostitution, habitual solicitation of prostitution, and solicitation of prostitution near schools and public parks under the state’s forfeiture laws; amends the definition of “sexual offense” under the sexual offender registry laws to include acts that consist of the solicitation of a minor who is less than 18 years of age for prostitution; and requires registration with the sexual offender registry for conviction of solicitation of a minor for prostitution as a Tier 1 offense.

HB587 (Relating to the Penal Code) amends the penal code to include that it shall be unlawful to physically abuse persons in a “dating relationship.” It also requires a police officer to separate a perpetrator and family or household member who has been physically abused for 48 hours.

SB655 (Relating to Health) allows health professionals to treat partners of patients diagnosed as having certain sexually transmitted diseases by dispensing or prescribing medication to the partners without examining them. The measure also ensures that expedited partner therapy is in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and recommendations, and it provides limited liability protection.

SB532 (Relating to Breastfeeding in the Workplace) requires certain employers to provide reasonable time and private location for breastfeeding employees to express breast milk. The measure also requires covered employers to post a notice, and it establishes a civil fine for each violation.

SB1340 (Relating to Foster Care) extends voluntary foster care to age 21.

SB529 (Relating to Parental Rights) requires family courts to deny custody or visitation, and allows courts to terminate parental rights, to a person convicted of a sexual assault with respect to the child conceived through that assault.

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For more information, contact:
Louise Kim McCoy, Director of Communications / Press Secretary, (808) 586-0012