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Rep. Ward pushing for “Urine-Free Zones”

Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) has introduced a bill that creates urine-free zones as a means of protecting the public’s health.  “A person can be lying in their feces in a public stairwell and have an absolute constitutional right to do so, but the citizens walking over or through this public health hazard have no rights, Ward said.”

The House bill he introduced last week is HB 1595 (see attached) and prohibits the urinating or defecating in areas designated as “Urine Free Zones.”  It comes at a very timely juncture when it is no longer illegal to do one’s business in public.  In particular, as of Dec 31, 2016, the existing statute (§711-1101) that explicitly made urination and defecation illegal expired.

The original anti-defecation bill was introduced in 2004 by then Representative (now Senator) Karl Rhoades and was subsequently extended each session until last year when it expired supposedly to an oversight.

Ward’s bill designates certain public places as urine free zones. It establishes fines or completion of a court approved drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment program as consequences for a violation.

“Public health and hygiene is tantamount to a civilized society whether people are homeless or not, and this prohibition on public urination defecation must be enforced,” Ward concluded.

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