May 4, 2012 •
Arizona, Hawaii, and Mississippi
Arizona: The Arizona Legislature adjourned its session sine die on May 3. Governor Jan Brewer has 10 days to sign or veto legislation transmitted to her, or the legislation becomes law automatically.
Hawaii: The Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die yesterday, May 3, 2012.
Mississippi: The Mississippi Legislature adjourned ahead of schedule on May 3, 2012.
Thank you to Research Associates George Ticoras, Shamus Williams, and Jen Zona for providing us with this legislative session information.
February 21, 2012 •
Here is a quick look at three news items where government and the internet meet:
Hawaii: “Tech-Savvy Leaders Push Honolulu Toward Gov 2.0” by Michael Levine in Honolulu Civil Beat.
Maryland: “NIC to Run Maryland’s Website” in Government Technology.
New York: “Mayor Bloomberg Puts N.Y. Government On Facebook” by Julie Andrews on All Facebook.
December 9, 2011 •
Hawaii Senator Ihara shared about an organization promoting ethical lobbying.
One of the remarkable moments I had at the 2012 COGEL Conference in Nashville was visiting with Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. We spoke about COGEL and I had to put in a plug that the conference will be held in Columbus next year! He spoke about NCSL and other things coming in the next year.
Senator Ihara was interested in sharing about the Hawaii Ethical Lobbying Association and so that is our Highlighted Site of the Week. The website has the organization’s pledge of ethics, as well as listing news about an Ethical Lobbying and Campaign Spending Workshop.
Senator Ihara, who was named co-chair of NCSL’s Legislative Effectiveness Committee, has received the Good Government Angel Award from the Hawai‘i Pro-Democracy Initiative, Lawmaker of the Year from Small Business Hawai‘i, the Good Government Award from Common Cause Hawai‘i, and many other awards. The Hawaii State Legislature site offers an interesting list of the measures the senator has introduced.
Have a great weekend!
February 15, 2011 •
Hawaii Senator Les Ihara, Jr. has introduced a bill which would enact a ban on contributions from specific parties during a legislative session.
Senate Bill 69 would prohibit any lobbyist, principal of a lobbyist, client of a lobbyist, agent of a lobbyist, or political action committee on which a lobbyist sits from making political campaign contributions to the governor, lieutenant governor, or a member of the legislature.
This prohibition would be in effect during any time in which the legislature is in regular or special session.
The measure also defines terms pertinent to the language of the bill, including ‘contribution,’ ‘political action committee,’ and ‘principal of a lobbyist.’
The bill aims to reduce situations where actual or perceived conflicts of interest may be raised.
Satellite photo of Hawaii by NASA, posted on Wikipedia.
January 31, 2011 •
The Hawaii Legislature will have the opportunity to debate changes in regards to the reporting and disclosure requirements for lobbyists and their clients during the 2011 session due to the filing of House Bill 637 and Senate Bill 671.
These bills would alter reporting and disclosure requirements to mandate reports be filed each month during the period from January through May of each year, as well as during any other month in which the legislature is in session. Further, an additional report would be filed on January 15 of each year to cover the period of June 1 to December 31.
Additionally, the bills would require lobbyists and their clients to make new disclosures, including campaign contributions made, the existence of any contractual relationships with legislators, and events attended wherein members of the legislature were in attendance and an average cost of $25 or more per person or total of $500 including gifts was expended. The bills also provide for definitions to pertinent terms, including ‘candidate,’ ‘candidate committee,’ ‘committee,’ and ‘contractual relationship.’
December 17, 2010 •
Kondo to Become Executive Director of Hawaii State Ethics Commission in 2011
The Hawaii State Ethics Commission has selected Mr. Leslie H. Kondo to serve as the new Executive Director, effective January 11, 2011.
Kondo has served as a member of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission since 2007, and has previously served as the director of the State Office of Information Practices. Mr. Kondo holds a law degree from the University of Hawaii.
October 25, 2010 •
Barbara Wong retiring at the end of this month.
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has selected Kristin Izumi-Nitao as the new Executive Director effective November 4, 2010. She has been with the Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaii, since 1999, and is currently responsible for overseeing and administering the Hawaii Internet and Technology Crimes Unit which includes the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam.
Izumi-Nitao will replace Barbara Wong who is retiring at the end of October.
October 12, 2010 •
Order Issued Enjoining Enforcement of Hawaii Campaign Finance Law Specific to Plaintiffs
A federal judge has granted the request of two men seeking to be able to contribute in excess of the state’s limit of $1,000 to a noncandidate political action committee. U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright issued an order permitting the plaintiffs in the action to contribute $2,500 to the Aloha Family Alliance, a noncandidate political action committee which supports traditional marriage and opposes abortion and physician-assisted suicide, for the general election.
Hawaii law limits contributions to a noncandidate committee to $1,000 per election, with the primary and general election counting as two separate elections. Neither plaintiff in this action had made a contribution during the primary election. Further, the written order does not allow others exceed the $1,000 limit for the general election.
State Attorney General Mark Bennett has requested a stay of the order while the case is appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This order only speaks to this particular facet of the lawsuit, not to the additional plaintiff complaints regarding disclaimers and attribution related to advertisements, political reporting requirements, and pay-to-play restrictions, which Judge Seabright will rule on at a later date.
September 14, 2010 •
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court alleging Hawaii’s ban on political contributions by state and county contractors is in violation of the First Amendment.
Key to the suit is the state’s prohibition on contributions by contractors until completion of the contract. The suit, filed by A-1 A-Lectrician Inc., an electrical and construction firm in Hawaii, alleges the prohibition is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, as well as in violation of the 14th Amendment’s citizenship protection of corporations and individuals.
Citizen advocacy groups, including Common Cause Hawaii and the League of Women Voters of Hawaii, have already voiced their opposition to the suit.
Satellite photo of Hawaii by NASA, posted on Wikipedia.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.