Boerger: ‘Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus outlines 2021 policy priorities’

Emily Boerger, “Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus outlines 2021 policy priorities,” State of Reform, 27 Jan. 2021.

The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) will push for bills to improve women’s health, address violence against women, and support women in the workplace during the 2021 legislative session. The caucus reviewed this year’s legislative package at a virtual breakfast meeting on Wednesday.

The bill package include two bills aimed at preventing violence against women. House Bill 563/Senate Bill 826 would prohibit a convicted sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a former victim or that victim’s immediate family members. It would require the offender to receive approval from the Attorney General prior to a change in address.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro, who introduced the senate version of the bill, says the bill came by request of one of her constituents. This constituent and her family had endured years of abuse from the father of the children in the family. From prison, the father threatened the family, saying upon his release he would kill them.

“She, in desperation, requested that this bill be introduced,” said Shimabukuro.

She says that as of 2018, six other states have passed similar legislation.

“I really hope that Hawaii can be added to this list to provide much needed protection to victims and their families,” she added.

The other bill, HB 566/SB 829, would add coercive control to the offense of abuse of family or household members as a petty misdemeanor.  Continue reading