In an effort to reduce the harms experienced by persons in the sex trades we have drafted a series of proposed bills were entered into the 2019 Hawaii State Legislature. They are listed below in order of the amount of potential opposition they may face starting with the least controversial. Unfortunately none of these good ideas were even considered.
- A witness bill. This will give statutory protection from prosecution under misdemeanor prostitution laws to those who may have witnessed or been a victim of a more serious crime.
- A vacatur bill.. This will streamline and clarify the method by which persons convicted of misdemeanor offenses under our prostitution laws may clear their criminal record.
- Clarifying language for the definition of advancing prostitution. This will make sure that agencies and individuals who are providing harm reduction services to persons selling sex are not made liable as sex traffickers or promoters of prostitution under our felony statutes.
- Reforms for the Liquor Commission. This is to advise the liquor commissions of the four counties that the authority given to them by statute is only in relationship to the sale and distribution of alcohol and does not extend into questions of sexual morality. Such questions are reserved to the legislature and courts.
- A zoning bill. This is designed to consolidate three existing statutes aimed at creating geographic controls of prostitution related activity. It will also create a judicial process for the establishment of zones, so that actual evidence may be considered.
- An adjustment to reporting requirements. This bill will address the harms created by the new misdemeanor offence levied against professional outreach workers who fail to report the names of youth engaged in survival sex to the authorities.
- A repeal bill. This will repeal a large section of Hawaii law that criminalizes sexual commerce between consenting adults.
In the 2017-2018 legislative session there were three (3) bills in Hawaii related to prostitution:
SB264: (Full Text) (Status) Summary: Allows a defendant convicted of certain prostitution offenses to file a motion to vacate the conviction if the defendant is not subsequently convicted of any offense under the penal code within three years after the date of the original conviction. Repeals certain requirements pertaining to filing a motion to vacate, including the burden of proof, and exclusions of certain convictions of certain prostitution offenses.
HB1532: (Full Text) (Status) Summary: Authorizes counties to designate areas where prostitution is prohibited upon petition to the courts. Repeals crimes of loitering for the purpose of prostitution and solicitation of prostitution near schools or public parks.
HB1533: (Full Text) (Status) Summary: Repeals the penalties for consensual adult prostitution and promotion of adult prostitution. Vacates convictions for conduct that is decriminalized and permits vacating convictions when defendant has no criminal convictions in the preceding three years.