HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The Senate tonight voted to agree to the House amendments made on Senate Bill 562 which intended to extend the limited liability protections for county lifeguards provided by Act 170, Sessions Laws of Hawai‘i 2002, for four additional years until 2021.
The Senate committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs recommended the agreement on SB562 SD1 HD1 when it was made clear the House was steadfast in their position which requires the attorney general to defend any civil action or preceding brought in any court against a county based on negligence, wrongful act, or omission by a county lifeguard providing lifeguard services at a designated state beach park under an agreement between the State and the county. The Senate agreed that the concerns raised by the potential sunset of the current law outweigh the difference of opinion in the current form of the bill that exists between the House and Senate.
“I’ve always advocated for the protection of county lifeguards and to provide them the tools they need to do their job,” said Senate Majority Leader, Sen. J. Kalani English (Dist. 7 - Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe), who introduced the bill. “I will continue to pursue this issue and introduce a bill next session to try to restore immunity for the lifeguards.”
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