As reported in the Honolulu Advertiser article, Hawaii gets persistent requests for Obama birth certificate, February 19, Hawaii state Senator Will Espero has introduced two bills, one on “each side” of the issue in the Hawaii legislature:
Senate Bill 2056 would open up Hawai’i birth records under strict conditions to people who currently have no legitimate right to see them. Senate Bill 2937 would allow state agencies to label people who persistently “abuse” the public information process as “vexatious requestors,” which would allow state officials to deny their requests for documents.
Bill 2056 is not really that far fetched. Several states now have open birth records, for example California. In “open record states” anyone can view a copy of birth records (although not get a “certified copy” on security paper). There are legitimate arguments in favor of open records, and proponents claim that identity theft is no worse in states with open records than in those with closed records. Others in opposition cite privacy concerns. The thorny issue of adoption complicates the issue.
Bill 2937 is also a tool to help the state health department deal with the onslaught of bloggers like Terri K and Butterdezillion and their minions. I am less impressed by value of this legislation, as it seems to me that the State already has the tools needed. If we’re only talking about 50 requests a month, as the article says, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of legitimate requests the state routinely processes.