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Governor signs 17 crime prevention, public safety bills

Live Stream of Governor Josh Green’s Bill Signing Ceremony (Video courtesy of Governor’s Office via Facebook)

(BIVN) – Gov. Josh Green signed 17 new bills into law Tuesday intended to improve crime prevention, public safety and law enforcement in Hawaii.

“Today’s bill marks a significant step forward in our efforts to improve public safety and strengthen our law enforcement systems,” said Governor Green. “By addressing issues ranging from gun control to gambling regulation and support for survivors of abuse, we are building a safer and more just Hawaii.”



The governor’s office focused on four of the 17 bills in its press release, writing:

SB2845 – REGULATING ACCESS TO AMMUNITION FOR PERSONS UNDER 21
SB 2845 aligns ammunition regulations with existing firearms laws by prohibiting the sale, ownership, and possession of ammunition by persons under the age of 21. Specific exemptions are given for hunting and target shooting activities. The law imposes strict identification control requirements for sellers and updates penalties and enforcement actions to ensure compliance.

SB2197 – SPREAD OF COOPERATION
SB 2197 expands the definition of “pre-gaming activity” to include various forms of material support of gaming operations, such as creating gaming games, maintaining equipment, and managing financial operations. The Act emphasizes the responsibilities of those in control of premises used for gambling and includes a repeal and reinstatement clause effective July 1, 2029.

SB2601 – EXTENSION OF CIVIL ACTION FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINOR
SB 2601 extends the time period for bringing civil actions for childhood sexual abuse committed on or after July 1, 2024. This extension recognizes the cognitive and emotional barriers that often delay disclosure. The law also allows courts to mandate trauma-informed response training for legal entities involved in such cases, increasing sensitivity and appropriateness in handling allegations.

HB2231 – IMPROVING DIVERSITY IN LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES
HB 2231 aims to increase the representation of female law enforcement officers to 30% by 2030 and includes non-binary law enforcement officers. The Act highlights the benefits of diversity, including improved public trust and better outcomes for victims of crime. It requires law enforcement agencies to recruit officers from diverse backgrounds, including diverse educational backgrounds, and establish benchmarks to measure progress toward diversity goals.



The ceremony also included the signing of these additional bills:

HB2657 HD1 SD1 – REGARDING ABUSE
Establishes legal procedures to prevent and remedy litigation abuse. Enters into force 2025-01-01.

SB2193 SD1 HD1 CD1 – RELATIONS TO COMPUTER CRIME
Amends the offense of using a computer in the commission of a separate offense to include first and second degree invasion of privacy. Repealed on 1/7/2027.

SB2532 SD2 HD1 CD1 – RELATING TO CRIME
Clarifies that the definition of “dwelling,” as it relates to property violations, includes multi-unit buildings and attached parking or storage spaces that are limited to residential use. Allows the owner of a multifamily building, a single unit owner, a property manager, or an authorized representative of the condominium association to act as a reporter for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting a felony of burglary in the first degree in a multiunit building.

SB2706 SD1 HD1 – RELATING TO EXPUNGATION OF CRIMINAL LAWS
Establishes the Clean Slate Expungement Task Force to develop a state-initiated program to purge records. Requires the Task Force to submit reports to the Legislature.

SB3033 HD1 CD1 – RELATIONS TO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
Amends the Penal Code for tampering with physical evidence to adopt the wording of the Model Penal Code for the same offense.

SB3034 HD1 CD1 – REGARDING CRIMINAL LIABILITY
Explicitly categorizes defenses based on intoxication that are not self-induced or are pathological as affirmative defenses. Sunsets 2034-01-01

SB3037 SD1 HD1 CD1 – TO PROMOTE PORNOGRAPHY TO MINORS
Amends the offense of promoting pornography to minors by allowing the prosecution of persons who provide pornographic material to undercover law enforcement officers representing themselves as minors for the purpose of conducting undercover operations.

HB1953 HD1 SD2 CD1 – RELATIONS TO PENAL CODE
Requires the Judicial Council to conduct a comprehensive review of Hawaii’s criminal code and recommend proposed changes. Requires the Judicial Council to appoint an advisory committee to assist in the review, and allows the Judicial Council to also appoint a reporter and other staff as necessary. Requires the advisory committee to report to the legislature. Appropriating funds.

HB1611 HD2 SD2 – REGARDING LEGAL AMENDMENT
Requires law enforcement agencies and the Law Enforcement Standards Board to consult the National Decertification Index and report certain information related to a law enforcement officer’s certification status to the Index. Enters into force 2026-01-01.

HB2352 HD1 SD2 – REGARDING LAW ENFORCEMENT
Exempt the administrator of the Law Enforcement Standards Board from civil service laws. Clarifies membership and certain powers and duties of the Law Enforcement Standards Board and establishes new deadlines for fulfilling board responsibilities. Adds to the membership of the Law Enforcement Standards Board a member selected by the union representing police officers in the state.

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