Governor signs 16 bills into law
HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed 16 bills into law Friday afternoon on proposals ranging from modernizing the electric grid to stopping police officers from having sex with prostitutes in the line of duty.
Several of the proposals dealt with protecting children from harm and restoring justice to victims of Internet crimes.
“The Legislature in this package has particularly focused in on crimes against humanity, particularly for those that are the most vulnerable, and for that reason I’m pleased to be able to put this together ... and sign all the bills,” Abercrombie said in a ceremony Friday afternoon.
The bills also address emergency management and energy conservation.
The deadline for the governor to sign bills is July 8. But the governor has to let the Legislature know by June 23 if he plans to veto any bills.
Here’s a sampling of the bills that the governor signed into law:
COP SEX: An unusual law allowed officers to have sex with prostitutes in the course of investigations. But the bill (HB 1926) changes the law so that police can still solicit sex, but cannot engage in sexual penetration or sadomasochistic abuse on the job.
CHILD SEX ABUSE: A pair of proposals lengthen the amount of time victims of child sex abuse have to file claims. One bill (SB 2687) extends the amount of time that victims of child sexual abuse have to file civil lawsuits until 2016 if the date of their claim had already passed the statute of limitations. A flurry of lawsuits had been filed before a deadline. Another bill (HB 2034) removes the statute of limitations on filing criminal child sex abuse claims for continuous abuse or abuse in the first and second degrees.
ELECTRIC GRID: One proposal (HB 1943) would modernize Hawaii’s electrical system to ensure that customers producing energy through solar panels or other means could connect to the electric grid. Hawaii residents had clamored for solutions after installing costly solar arrays that could not be connected to the state electricity system.
REVENGE PORN: Photos have a way of lingering on the Internet, but prosecutors in Hawaii rallied to protect those who are victims of angry exes. The bill (HB 1750) makes it illegal to post a nude photo without the subject’s permission. It targets those who post pictures with the intent of ruining the careers, reputations or relationships of the people depicted.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE: A proposal (HB 849) aims to protect Hawaii residents during emergencies and natural disasters. It clears up who’s responsible for what when a disaster occurs.