Monthly Archives: February 2009

Invocation for the late Rep. Bob Nakasone


On Friday, February 20, 2009, I did a moment of silence for the late Rep. Bob Nakasone.

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Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu’s 2009 Bills


 

 

Richard E. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's father), Laraine E. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's mother), Rep. Jon Riki Karmatsu, Lara K. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's younger sister), and David Kaneshiro (Rep. Karamatsu's uncle).

Richard E. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's father), Laraine E. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's mother), Rep. Jon Riki Karmatsu, Lara K. Karamatsu (Rep. Karamatsu's younger sister), and David Kaneshiro (Rep. Karamatsu's uncle) at opening day of the 2009 Legislative Session.

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu

2009 Bills

 

House Bill 612

RELATING TO LAND USE COMMISSION.

Land Use Commission; Important Agricultural Lands

Prevents lands designated important agricultural lands from being reclassified to another classification if the primary use of the land is agriculture, the owner or lessee is a farmer, and the gross proceeds from the agricultural activities on the land exceed $1,000,000.

WLO/AGR

 

HB613

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

Elections; Withdrawal and Declaration of Candidacy

Requires the office of elections to develop a standard withdrawal and declaration of candidacy form by 01/01/2010. Requires a candidate to file the standard form to withdraw as a candidate prior to the subsequent filing of nomination papers for any other elective office.

JUD

 

HB614

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

Elections; Nomination Papers

Makes nomination papers available until twenty-four hours prior to the deadline for filing nomination papers.

JUD

 

HB615

RELATING TO HARASSMENT.

Harassment

Provides that harassment includes all digital communications.

JUD

 

HB615, HD1

RELATING TO HARASSMENT.

Harassment

Provides that harassment includes all forms of electronic communications. (HB615 HD1)

Senate: EDT, JGO

 

HB616

RELATING TO THE HAWAII EXPORT CENTER.

Hawaii Export Center; Shipping; Small Businesses

Establishes Hawaii export center within department of business, economic development, and tourism located within the Kalaeloa community development district to manage sharing of shipping containers for multiple small Hawaii export businesses who lack sufficient quantities of product to completely fill one standard shipping container at any one time.

EBM, FIN

 

 

HB617

RELATING TO MASS TRANSIT ECONOMIC ZONES.

Mass Transit Route Economic Zone Task Force

Creates a task force to recommend parameters for the creation of mass transit route economic zones including eligibility and benefits and incentives such as tax credits.  Report to legislature, including process to designate economic zones and incentives to attract businesses and affordable housing to encourage ridership.  Task force terminates on 06/30/10.

TRN, EBM, FIN

 

HB 617, HD1

RELATING TO MASS TRANSIT ROUTE ECONOMIC ZONES.

Mass Transit Route Economic Zone Task Force

Creates a task force to recommend parameters for the creation of mass transit route economic zones including eligibility and benefits and incentives such as tax credits. Report to legislature, including process to designate economic zones and incentives to attract businesses and affordable housing to encourage ridership. Task force terminates on 06/30/10. (HB617 HD1)

TRN, EBM, FIN

 

HB618

RELATING TO THE UNIFORM PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL FUNDS ACT.

Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act

Enacts Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act to replace and update existing Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act. Provides guidance and authority to charitable organizations concerning the management and investment of funds held by those organizations. Provides additional protections for charities and also protects the interests of donors. Modernizes rules governing expenditures from endowment funds. Gives institutions ability to cope more easily with fluctuations in the value of the endowment. Updates provisions governing the release and modification of restrictions on charitable funds to permit more efficient management of these funds.

CPC, FIN

 

HB619

RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES.

Public Utilities; Renewable Energy Zones

Directs the public utilities commission to prepare a study on the creation of renewable energy zones and report its findings to the legislature.

CPC, EEP, FIN

 

HB620

relating to sentencing.

Sex Offenders; Sentencing

Authorizes the court at sentencing to require a person with three or more convictions of sexual assault in the first degree to wear a global positioning system transmitter for up to 10 years after the person’s release from prison.

JUD, FIN

 

HB620 HD1

RELATING TO SENTENCING.

Sex Offenders; Sentencing

Authorizes the court at sentencing to require a person with three or more convictions of sexual assault in the first degree to wear a global positioning system transmitter for up to 10 years after the person’s release from prison. Classifies as a class C felony the removal or disabling of the transmitter. (HB620 HD1)

JUD, FIN

 

HB621

PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION TO CLARIFY RETIREMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR JUSTICES AND JUDGES IN STATE COURTS.

Constitutional Amendment; Judges; Completion of Terms

Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow justices and judges who attain the age of 70 during their term of office to complete their term prior to retirement.

JUD, FIN

 

HB622

RELATING TO HARASSMENT.

Harassment by Stalking; Digital Communication

Adds digital communication as a form of nonconsensual contact in the offense of harassment by stalking.

JUD

 

HB622 HD1

RELATING TO HARASSMENT.

Harassment by Stalking; Electronic Communication

Adds electronic communication as a form of nonconsensual contact in the offense of harassment by stalking. (HB622 HD1)

Senate: EDT, JGO

 

HB623

relating to state identification.

State Identification; Counties

Allows the attorney general to contract with counties for processing and issuing state identification cards.

JUD, FIN

 

HB623 HD1

RELATING TO STATE IDENTIFICATION.

State Identification; Counties

Allows the attorney general to contract with counties to process and issue state identification cards. (HB623 HD1)

JUD, FIN

 

HB624

RELATING TO PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

Public Accommodations; Discrimination

Specifies state-operated schools, libraries, community colleges, and universities as examples of facilities that are places of public accommodation subject to anti-discriminatory prohibitions.

HED/EDN, JUD

 

HB625

RELATING TO SURCHARGE FOR INDIGENT LEGAL SERVICES.

Surcharge for Indigent Legal Services

Increases the initial filing fee for civil actions.

JUD, FIN

KARAMATSU (BR)

 

HB626

RELATING TO ETHICS.

County Ethics Committees; Civil Fines; Appeal Proceedings

Conforms county ethics procedures for civil fines with state ethics commission procedures by allowing appeals of civil fines directly to a court and authorizing counties to adopt an ordinance to allow a county ethics commission to issue civil fines without first requesting correction or ceasing of violation.

JUD, FIN

KARAMATSU (BR)

 

HB774

RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY.

Judiciary; Supreme Court; Rules

Clarifies the supreme court’s rule making authority.

JUD

(Gut and Replace Bill)

 

HB775

RELATING TO GOVERNMENT.

Government; Jury Service

Clarifies the law with respect to jury service.

JUD

(Gut and Replace Bill)

 

HB776

RELATING TO CRIMES.

Crimes; Assault

Clarifies the law with respect to assault against a law enforcement officer.

JUD

(Gut and Replace Bill)

 

HB777

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

Elections; Campaign Treasurer

Clarifies the law with respect to campaign treasurers.

JUD

(Gut and Replace Bill)

 

HB778

RELATING TO ATTORNEYS.

Attorneys; Attorney General; Private Practice

Clarifies the law with respect to attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office.

JUD

(Gut and Replace Bill)

 

HB779

RELATING TO THE UNIFORM FOREIGN-COUNTRY MONEY JUDGMENTS RECOGNITION ACT.

Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act

Enacts Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act and in so doing, replaces and updates similar law codified as chapter 658C, HRS. Updates former law by, among other things, allocating burden of proof with respect to application of law, setting out procedure for obtaining recognition of foreign country money judgments, expanding grounds for denying recognition and allocating burden of proof to do so. Establishes statute of limitations.

JUD, FIN

 

HB780

RELATING TO TORTS.

Joint and Several Liability; Design Professionals

Abolishes joint and several liability for design professionals except when the design professional’s degree of negligence is 25% or more.

EBM, JUD

 

HB781

RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

Peace Mission Committee; Office of International Relations

Establishes a peace mission committee within the office of international affairs to plan and implement peace missions to other nations and organizations. Appropriates funds.

TCI, FIN

 

HB782

RELATING TO THE UNIFORM MEDIATION ACT.

Uniform Mediation Act

Adopts the Uniform Mediation Act.  Provides certain rules for mediations.  Establishes a privilege that assures confidentiality of mediations in legal proceedings.  Protects integrity and knowing consent through provisions that provide exceptions to the privilege, limit disclosures by the mediator to judges and others who may rule on the case, requires mediators to disclose conflicts of interest, and assures that parties may bring a lawyer or other support person to the mediation session.

JUD, FIN

 

HB782 HD1

RELATING TO THE UNIFORM MEDIATION ACT.

Uniform Mediation Act

Adopts the Uniform Mediation Act. Provides certain rules for mediations. Establishes a privilege that assures confidentiality of mediations in legal proceedings. Protects integrity and knowing consent through provisions that provide exceptions to the privilege, limit disclosures by the mediator to judges and others who may rule on the case, requires mediators to disclose conflicts of interest, and assures that parties may bring a lawyer or other support person to the mediation session. (HB782 HD1)

JUD, FIN

 

HB1314

RELATING TO CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FORTY-FIRST REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT.

CIP; 41st Representative District

Authorizes capital improvement projects for the 41st representative district.

FIN

 

HB1315

RELATING TO PEACE DAY.

Peace Day; Peace Mission Committee

Establishes a peace mission committee to plan, develop, and implement a peace mission in 2017 in honor of the tenth annual Peace Day.

TCI, FIN

 

HB1316

RELATING TO TORTS.

Joint and Several Liability; Design Professionals

Abolishes joint and several liability for design professionals except when design professional’s degree of negligence is 25% or more.

CPC, JUD

 

HB1316 HD1

RELATING TO TORTS.

Joint and Several Liability; Design Professionals

Abolishes joint and several liability for design professionals in tort claims relating to the maintenance and design of public highways, except when the design professional’s degree of negligence is 25% or more. Effective 01/01/2020. (HB1316 HD1)

CPC, JUD

 

HB1317

RELATING TO RURAL PHYSICIANS TAX CREDIT.

Tax Credit; Physicians; Rural Areas

Provides a tax credit on a sliding scale for amounts paid for medical malpractice insurance premiums by physicians that move to, and practice medicine in, rural areas.

HLT, FIN

 

HB1317 HD1

RELATING TO RURAL PHYSICIANS TAX CREDIT.

Tax Credit; Physicians; Rural Areas

Provides a tax credit on a sliding scale for amounts paid for medical malpractice insurance premiums by physicians that move to, and practice medicine in, rural areas. (HB1317 HD1)

HLT, FIN

 

HB1511

RELATING TO THE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE INCENTIVE PROGRAM.

Primary Health Care Incentive Program

Amends the primary health care incentive program to include the development and maintenance of a list of doctors, their specialties, and locations in which they are willing to help serve.

HLT, FIN

 

HB1512

RELATING TO TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.

Temporary Restraining Order; Pet Animals

Authorizes family court, when issuing a temporary restraining order, to award exclusive care of a pet animal and enjoin the restrained party from having any contact with the pet animal.

JUD

 

HB1513

RELATING TO OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER.

Cruelty to Animals; Possession of Gaff

Prohibits possession of gaff designed to be attached to gamecock or other fighting fowl.

JUD

KARAMATSU (BR)

 

HB1514

RELATING TO MEDICAL TORTS.

Medical Torts; Damages

Places a ceiling on non-economic damages in medical torts involving neurologists and neurosurgeons.

HLT, JUD             

 

HB1514 HD1

RELATING TO MEDICAL TORTS.

Medical Torts; Damages; Notification of Patients; Physician Profiles; Task Force

Places a ceiling on non-economic damages in medical torts involving neurologists and neurosurgeons and reduces insurance premiums for malpractice liability coverage. Requires a health care provider to disclose to patients adverse events relating to their medical treatment. Requires the Hawaii medical board to collect and publish information about physicians licensed in the state to allow consumers to make informed decisions in selecting physicians. Establishes a medical malpractice damages task force to provide support in implementing the provisions of this Act. (HB1514 HD1)

HLT, JUD

 

HB1782

RELATING TO HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE.

Health Information Exchange

Creates an office of state coordinator of health information exchange within the department of health and creates a health information exchange program.  Makes appropriations.

HLT, FIN

 

HB1782 HD1

RELATING TO HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE.

Health Information Exchange

Creates an office of state coordinator of health information exchange within the department of health and creates a health information exchange program. Makes appropriations. Effective Date of July 1, 2020. (HB1782 HD1)

HLT, FIN

 

HB1783

RELATING TO THE MEDICAL CLAIM CONCILIATION PANEL.

Medical Claim Compensation Panel

Amends provisions relating to the medical claim compensation panel by establishing a health court. Increases the number of panel members and amends the manner in which they are appointed.

HLT, JUD, FIN

 

HB1784

relating to Medical Torts.

Medical Tort Claims; Noneconomic Damages

Limits the amount awarded for non-economic damages in medical tort cases to $750,000 aggregate and $250,000 per physician, healthcare provider, healthcare facility, and any other involved parties.  Sets the award limit for non-economic damages in cases of gross negligence at $3,000,000.

HLT, JUD

 

HB1784 HD1

RELATING TO MEDICAL TORTS.

Medical Tort Claims; Noneconomic Damages

Limits the amount awarded for non-economic damages in medical tort cases to $250,000 per physician specialist. Sets the award limit for non-economic damages in cases of gross negligence at $3,000,000. Requires a health care provider to disclose to patients adverse events relating to their medical treatment. Requires the Hawaii medical board to collect and publish information about physicians licensed in the state to allow consumers to make informed decisions in selecting physicians. (HB1784 HD1)

HLT, JUD

 

HB1785

RELATING TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS.

Task Force; Medical Malpractice

Establishes a medical malpractice damages task force to develop a strategic plan to address the high costs of medical malpractice insurance rates and make recommendations on damage award ranges and guidelines for medical malpractice claims.

HLT, CPC/JUD, FIN

 

HB1786

RELATING TO GAMING.

Gaming; One County; One Casino; Nonresident Adults; Deposit Taxes & Fees into General Fund

Allows casino gaming at 1 location on a 5-year license in a county having a population of more than 500,000 admitting only persons over 21, nonresidents, or who have round-trip tickets for travel to a final destination outside Hawaii. Creates a gaming commission and imposes a 7% tax on the casino’s monthly gross receipts and an annual $250 fee on each gaming device for deposit into the general fund except % and % for administrative costs and administering a problem gamblers program.

TCI, JUD, FIN

 

HB1556

RELATING TO THE JUDICIARY.

Judiciary

Short form bill relating to the judiciary.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1557

RELATING TO CRIME.

Crime

Short form bill relating to crime.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1558

RELATING TO GOVERNMENT.

Government

Short form bill relating to government.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1559

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

Elections

Short form bill relating to elections.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1560

RELATING TO ATTORNEYS.

Attorneys

Short form bill relating to attorneys.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1561

RELATING TO REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND SALESPERSONS.

Real Estate Licenses

Specifies that acting as a real estate broker and salesperson pursuant to a real estate license does not constitute the practice of law.

CPC, JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

HB1751

RELATING TO COMMUNICATIONS FRAUD.

Communication Service; Fraud

Establishes the offense of communication service fraud in the first and second degrees. Provides civil remedies. Authorizes forfeiture. Establishes evidentiary presumption. Adds definitions.

JUD

SAY, KARAMATSU

 

 

 

 

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House Floor Speech: House Bill 444, House Draft 1 – Relating to Civil Unions


Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Floor Speech

House Bill 444, House Draft 1

Relating to Civil Unions

February 12, 2009

 

I rise in support.

 

Since our existence, we as a human race have been very judgmental of others, especially a minority sector of people because of their sex, color of skin, ethnicity, religious beliefs, culture, behavior, and lifestyle.  It is the majority of the people that decides what is acceptable for society, and often times the minority of the people get the short end of the stick.

 

Our great state and country has come so far in regards to equality and compassion.  In the past, we had laws that discriminated against every type of minority I mentioned.  We have done so much to correct our wrongful acts by changing our laws to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

 

However, we still have much work to do in creating equality for all in our great state and country.  In regards to the same-sex community, our laws do not extend the same rights to them as we do for the heterosexual community.  We as a society want people to take care of each other.  Civil unions would allow same-sex couples to have the same rights as heterosexual couples without having to change our marriage laws.  Keep in mind that we are not only allowing rights, but requiring responsibility on all couples.  There are legal liabilities if couples do not care for each other.  Too often, we hear of cheating, domestic violence, sexual abuse, fighting over money and property, and partnering because of financial greed.  When partnerships are dissolved, properties are divided, and custody and visitation rights of children are decided.  The real threat to marriage or civil unions if this measure passes, is ourselves.

 

Again, this bill does not change the marriage laws, instead it grants the same legal rights and responsibilities available for married couples to same sex couples.

 

We as a society must have love and compassion, rather than anger, hate, and discrimination.  This civil unions bill will help to unify our state and country even further.  Let us try to eliminate or at least minimize our judgments on what we see physically before us.  We are judging are fellow family, friends, and neighbors because they have a minority lifestyle.  Let us look at this issue not only legally, but esoterically.  Body is nothing more than emptiness and emptiness is nothing more than body.  Rather than just looking at what is before us, let us look deeper and see the souls of others.  One’s soul can radiate love and compassion, or it can radiate hate and discrimination.  Instead of judging others, we need to look within our own soul and better ourselves.  Let us spread love and compassion and provide equality for all.  Thank you.

 

 

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House Floor Written Remarks: House Bill 622, House Draft 1 – Relating to Harassment by Stalking


Rep.  Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Floor Written Remarks

February 12, 2009

House Bill 622, House Draft 1

Relating to Harassment by Stalking

 

I rise in support.

 

            The purpose of this measure is to update Hawaii’s harassment by stalking law to keep up with technology by including the definition of electronic communication as defined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes section 711-1111(2), which means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.  Unfortunately, many individuals are stalking others through the Internet, which is not just accessible through computers, but now through our cellular phones.  Harassment by stalking can cause annoyance, mental distress, and fear for one’s safety.  It is our goal to reduce harassment done in person or through technology.  Thank you.

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House Floor Written Remarks: House Bill 615, House Draft 1: Relating to Harassment


Rep.  Jon Riki Karamatsu

House Floor Written Remarks

February 12, 2009

House Bill 615, House Draft 1

Relating to Harassment

 

I rise in support.

 

            The purpose of this measure is to update Hawaii’s harassment law to keep up with technology by including the definition of electronic communication as defined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes section 711-1111(2), which means any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.  Unfortunately, many individuals are harassing others through the Internet, which is not just accessible through computers, but now through our cellular phones.  Harassment can cause annoyance, mental distress, and fear for one’s safety.  It is our goal to reduce harassment done in person or through technology.  Thank you.

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Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hawaiian Religion, and Bushido has helped me tremendously


The Difficult Duality of Buddhism and Bushido

Some of my entries includes a lot of Buddhism and Bushido (samurai) philosophy.  I have to have some fun with my job or I will burn myself out like many others.  In order to understand what I am saying, one has to practice it.  Many of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion are good examples of the duality of compassion and the samurai spirit.  It is difficult because one is trying to become a Buddha by reaching enlightenment by attaining ultimate compassion and understanding the meaning of life and one’s existence.  However, when people draw swords on you, it is difficult to attain such a high goal.  Bushido is the way of the samurai where one faces his enemies with battle yet shows respect to them. Battles with enemies brings out emotions that is contrary to “compassion,” therefore, there is a conflict in attaining enlightenment.  Bodhisattvas are individuals that are striving for Buddhahood, but their human weaknesses have prevented them from attaining it.  To be clear, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are everyday people like us, not gods or angels.  One Bodhisattva, Jizo said that after he dies, he would go to the lower six realms to help and save souls who are sufferring so that they can go up to a higher spiritual realm.  He sacrificed attaining Buddhahood to help the suffering souls.  Another named Achala said after he dies, he would try to help living souls in the physical world who are going down the wrong path and try to get them back on the right path.  He finds it challenging to help the most stubborn, angry, or depressed people.  He wards off evil, which brings out a lot of emotions, and because of this, he also sacrificed attaining Buddhahood so that he can help others attain a happy life.  Basically, you can help others to be happy, even if it means sacrificing your own ultimate happiness.

Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Hawaiian Religion, and Bushido

My foundation is Buddhism.  It has taught me how to practice controlling your mind and soul to become more compassionate.  It also taught me to communicate with your ancestors and teachers of compassion through prayer and esoteric meditation.  Zen meditation is a very powerful practice to relax your body, mind, and soul by clearing all your thoughts and emotions.

Through, Taoism, I have learned to bring balance in my life.  Practices such as Feng Shui has helped me at a psychological level in achieving this.

Shintoism and the Hawaiian religion has taught me that everything has a soul, therefore, we must respect everything around us.

Bushido has taught me to be aware of death at all times.  Since death could happen anytime, we must live life to the fullest.  It also taught me to be careful of my actions becuase it could cost me an unnecessary fight or an untimely death, thus, stress and conflict can be avoided.

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Thousandfold Stronger


I am extremely focused on attaining a thousandfold more strength through positivity.

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