New Bill to Grant Hawaiian Government Unprecedented Emergency Powers

emergency management in hawaii

A new bill, HB 849, may grant unprecedented emergency powers during a crisis to Hawaii’s governor and four county majors. This bill, designed to to bring Hawaii’s emergency management plan to federal standards, would rename the state civil defense agency the “Hawaii Emergency Management Agency”, housing it under the Department of Defense.
The bill would also create a state emergency management director position, and a council on emergency management to advise the governor. Additionally, mayors would also be granted the same powers as the governor in declaring an “emergency period”.

Not everyone is in favor of this bill. Some think it gives expanded powers to the governor and mayors without checks and balances or oversight. The language of the bill is vague, and in case of an emergency, would allow the government to use all services, material, and facilities owned by partnerships, corporations, and small businesses, including media outlets and technology companies.

Read more about this at Fox News.

Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in