December 12, 2014 •
Ethics Commission to Review Interpretation of Hawaii Conflict of Interest Provisions
At its December 17 meeting, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission will consider amending its interpretation of certain conflict of interest provisions. Legislators and employees are prohibited from assisting or representing any person or business for compensation on matters in which they have participated or will participate in their state capacities, or on matters before their own state agencies. They are also subject to similar post-employment restrictions.
Currently, with regard to sections 84-14(B), (C), and (D) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the Commission interprets the phrase “any person or business” to mean a third party; it does not include the legislator, employee, former legislator, or former employee.
Because the Commission’s current interpretation appears inconsistent with the plain meaning and underlying purpose of the law, however, the Commission’s staff recommends the Commission amend its interpretation. Under the new interpretation, “any person or business” will also include the legislator, employee, former legislator, or former employee.
If revised, the new interpretation will be effective July 1, 2015.
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