Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus Commends Governor for New Laws to Protect Women and Families

Measures signed into law provide security, protection against

Governor Ige today signed a package of bills into law which are measures that were introduced or advocated for by the Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus at the beginning of the 2015 Legislative Session.

Photo courtesy: Senate Communications  (L to R: Sen. Laura Thielen, Rep. Lynn DeCoite, Sen. Rosalyn Baker, Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Gov. David Ige, Rep. Dee Morikawa, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, Rep. Della Au Belatti, Rep. Cynthia Thielen)

Photo courtesy: Senate Communications (L to R: Sen. Laura Thielen, Rep. Lynn DeCoite, Sen. Rosalyn Baker, Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Gov. David Ige, Rep. Dee Morikawa, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, Rep. Della Au Belatti, Rep. Cynthia Thielen)

A total of six measures were enacted and two resolutions adopted by the Legislature this session that provide protection for victims of domestic violence, improve reporting and enforcement of domestic violence and sexual assaults, and makes an effort to reduce violence and sexual assaults on college campuses and restore public trust of Hawai‘i’s law enforcement community.

“The Women’s Legislative Caucus is pleased with the bills enacted this session. Having the Governor’s recognition and support for these measures is critically important as we strive to empower survivors of domestic violence and work towards improving the lives of women and families across the state,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Mānoa).

“We appreciate the support from the Governor on these sound legislative policies we believe will improve the health and well-being of women, children and families throughout our State,” said Sen. Laura Thielen (Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimānalo, Hawai‘i Kai, Portlock). “The efforts of the Caucus this past session show how together we can create stronger communities.”

The bills signed into law are:

HB538 HD2 SD2 CD1 (Act 219)


Requires wireless telecommunications service providers to release domestic violence victims from shared service plans upon request and with documentation.  Authorizes the family court to order wireless providers to transfer billing authority for or release domestic violence victims from shared service plans upon petition by a victim.

HB858 HD2 SD2 CD1 (Act 220)


Permits the termination of residential rental agreements in cases of domestic violence.  Specifies additional procedures under the residential landlord-tenant code for instances of domestic violence.

SB226 SD2 HD1 (Act 221)


Adds the definition of “business day” to the offense of abuse of a family or household member.  Repeals the 48-hour no contact provision and specifies that the period of separation a police officer orders for the person whom the police officer reasonably believes to have inflicted the abuse of a family or household member commences when the order is issued and expires at 6:00 p.m. on the second business day following the day the order was issued.

SB387 SD2 HD3 CD1 (Act 222)


Establishes an affirmative consent task force to review and make recommendations on the University of Hawaii’s executive policy on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

SB388 HD1 (Act 30)


Requires each county police department to post its policies relating to domestic violence, officer-involved domestic violence, and standards of conduct on its official website.

HB448 (Act 203)


Requires the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct reviews of domestic violence fatalities, near-deaths, and suicides.  Authorizes DOH to enter into memoranda of understanding to obtain information relating to near-deaths resulting from intimate partner violence.

HR19 and SR9 are resolutions introduced by the Women’s Legislative Caucus which received bi-partisan support and were adopted at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session.


Requests the State Department of Defense to establish and fund a Veteran Women Services Coordinator position with the Office of Veterans’ Services


Requests the Honolulu Police Department to establish a family violence unit staffed with officers specifically trained to handle all complaints of family violence.

Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus

The Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus consists of female members from both the state Senate and House. Senators Rosalyn Baker and Suzanne Chun Oakland and Representatives Della Au Belatti and Cynthia Thielen serve as co-chairs of the Caucus. This year’s package of bills introduced by the Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus was dedicated to the Women’s Coalition in recognition of their commitment and advocacy for women and girls.

Women’s Legislative Caucus Unveils it’s Package for the 2012 Legislative Session

The Women’s Legislative Caucus unveiled its package for the 2012 Legislative Session. This year’s set of bills and resolutions is dedicated to women veterans. The package also includes recognition of the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free or low-cost housing to veterans and families receiving treatment at military medical centers.

The Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) is composed of Representatives Karen Awana, Della Au Belatti, Rida T.R. Cabanilla, Mele Carroll, Corinne W.L. Ching, Cindy Evans, Faye P. Hanohano, Sharon Har, Linda Ichiyama, Jo Jordan, Marilyn Lee, Sylvia Luke, Barbara Marumoto, Dee Morikawa, Kymberly Marcos Pine, Cynthia Thielen, and Jessica Wooley. Senators Roz Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Carol Fukunaga, Michelle Kidani, Donna Mercado Kim, Pohai Ryan, Maile Shimabukuro, Malama Solomon, and Jill Tokuda represent the WLC in the Senate.

These 26 female lawmakers account for 34% of the 27th Hawai’i State Legislature, putting the state well above the national average of 23.3%.

The bills introduced this session by the WLC address women’s health, the establishment of an automated victim notification system, the amendment of birth certificates for transgendered individuals, the requirement of birth defects warnings in liquor establishments, breastfeeding in the workplace, cervical and breast cancer screenings, funding for the reintegration of female offenders from incarceration back into the community, mandatory reporting requirements concerning child abuse, and the establishment of a special fund for child assault victims.

The WLC will also be proposing resolutions urging the State and Federal governments to assist women veterans, support the establishment of a Veterans Court within the Hawaii State Circuit Court, urge the U.S. Congress to support the immediate repeal of combat exclusionary rules, and reinforce Hawaii’s congressional delegation in support of the establishment of the National Women’s History Museum.

A list of the bills and resolutions can be found here: Women’s Legislative Caucus