The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus on Wednesday announced its 2021 legislative package of bills and resolutions.
The package contains five bills including measures that would prohibit sex offenders from living near their prior victims or a victim’s family; broaden the categories of women required to be covered for mammogram screenings; remove the six-month residency requirement prior to seeking divorce in family court; expand the definition of abuse of a family or household member to include coercive control; and require each state department to establish a telework and alternative work schedule policy.
“I look forward to engaging my colleagues on these measures, especially those to expand protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse,” state Rep. Linda Ichiyama, D-Oahu, said in a news release. “The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns put many victims in a tenuous situation. These bills will give victims added protection and resources.”
The House has 16 women representatives. There are nine women senators out of the 25 members.
The WLC package also includes two resolutions asking the state Commission on the Status of Women to convene a task force to study missing or murdered Native Hawaiian women and girls and to convene a task force to address implementation of Hawaii’s state law corollary to Title IX in light of recent changes to federal Title IX Regulations.
The caucus also is supporting four additional bills that are not part of the package, due to a limit on the number of bills that can be introduced by a caucus.
The additional bills supported by the caucus would establish the felony offense of “importation, sale or possession” of a childlike sex dolls; expand the time period for beginning a civil action for childhood sex abuse; expand the victim-counselor privilege under the state’s rule of evidence; and authorize a prosecution for sex trafficking to be commenced at any time.
“The Women’s Legislative Caucus has always advocated for issues that are important to women and their families,” said Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-Maui, said in the news release. “This year is no different. We will continue to champion efforts to ensure that their voices are heard here at the Legislature.”