February 11, 2020 •

Honolulu Voters Will Decide On Two-Term Limit for Prosecutor

Honolulu Hale City Hall

Voters in the November 3 election will decide whether the Honolulu prosecuting attorney should be limited to two consecutive four-year terms. Honolulu City Council members voted unanimously on January 29 to add the measure to the 2020 election ballot. Voters […]

Voters in the November 3 election will decide whether the Honolulu prosecuting attorney should be limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

Honolulu City Council members voted unanimously on January 29 to add the measure to the 2020 election ballot.

Voters last addressed a potential term limit on the prosecutor in 2016.

That year, citizens voted down a measure that would have established a three-year term limit for the prosecuting attorney, the mayor and council members.

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January 16, 2020 •

Hawaii Rep. Chris Lee Leaving House Seat for State Senate Run

After nearly 10 years in the state House, Rep. Chris Lee will not run for re-election for his House District 51 seat. Lee’s focus is now on the state Senate seat representing District 25. The Senate District 25 seat is […]

After nearly 10 years in the state House, Rep. Chris Lee will not run for re-election for his House District 51 seat.

Lee’s focus is now on the state Senate seat representing District 25.

The Senate District 25 seat is open because incumbent Laura Thielen is not seeking another term.

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January 14, 2020 •

Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Submits Measures Ahead of Session

Hawaii Capitol Building

Ahead of the 2020 legislative session, the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has submitted six measures to the Senate President and the House Speaker for introduction. The proposed measure relating to campaign finance reports clarifies that the increased fine for the […]

Ahead of the 2020 legislative session, the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has submitted six measures to the Senate President and the House Speaker for introduction.

The proposed measure relating to campaign finance reports clarifies that the increased fine for the late-filing of preliminary reports only applies to the reports due 10 days before a primary, general, or special election.

This proposed change is due to the additional preliminary reports mandated by the Legislature last session.

Other proposals include legislation introduced but not passed last session, such as House Bill 164 relating to electioneering communications.

The measure includes:

  • Changing the disclosure date of electioneering communication
  • Adding advertisements sent by mail to the definition of electioneering communication
  • Rewording an exception to that definition to make it clear that candidate committees rather than noncandidate committees are required to file statements of information

The 2020 Legislative session is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 15.

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September 11, 2019 •

Hawaii to Hold Special Session on State Court Nominees

Hawaii Capitol Building

The Hawaii Senate will convene in special session on September 16 to review gubernatorial nominees to the state courts. The gubernatorial nominees up for consideration by the Senate are: Clyde J. Wadsworth to the Intermediate Court of Appeals as associate […]

The Hawaii Senate will convene in special session on September 16 to review gubernatorial nominees to the state courts.

The gubernatorial nominees up for consideration by the Senate are:

      • Clyde J. Wadsworth to the Intermediate Court of Appeals as associate judge for a term of 10 years
      • Kevin A.K. Souza to the First Circuit Court for a 10-year term
      • Lisa W. Cataldo to the First Circuit Court for a term to expire in 10 years
      • Ronald G. Johnson to the First Circuit Court for a 10-year term
      • Trish K. Morikawa to the First Circuit Court for a term to expire in 10 years
      • John M. Tonaki to the First Circuit Court for a 10-year term
      • Jeffrey A. Hawk to the Third District Court for a six-year term

Hearings on the appointees before the Senate Committee on Judiciary are scheduled to begin on September 10.

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July 8, 2019 •

Hawaii Lawmakers Won’t Convene a Special Session to Override Gov.’s Vetoes

Hawaii Capitol Building

Leaders in the state Senate and House of Representatives announced on July 5 that lawmakers will not attempt to override any vetoes issued by Gov. David Ige. House Speaker Scott Sakiki said the Legislature would not convene an override session […]

Leaders in the state Senate and House of Representatives announced on July 5 that lawmakers will not attempt to override any vetoes issued by Gov. David Ige.

House Speaker Scott Sakiki said the Legislature would not convene an override session due to a lack of consensus between the Senate and the House.

Gov. Ige has identified 20 bills that he intends to veto of the 303 passed by lawmakers this year.

Ige has until Tuesday, July 9 to make his final decision on issuing vetoes.

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June 26, 2019 •

Hawaii Governor Signs Lobbying Penalties Bill

Hawaii Gov. David Ige

Gov. David Ige signed a lobbying bill into law on June 25. The bill removes statutory remnants from when lobbying violations resulted in criminal penalties. Senate Bill 144 replaces “willfully” with “negligently” in the requirements of proof that a violation […]

Gov. David Ige signed a lobbying bill into law on June 25.

The bill removes statutory remnants from when lobbying violations resulted in criminal penalties.

Senate Bill 144 replaces “willfully” with “negligently” in the requirements of proof that a violation of the lobbyist law was committed for failure to file a statement or report.

Proceedings that were begun prior to the signing of the bill are not affected.

Additionally, rights and duties that matured and penalties that were incurred prior to the bill are not affected.

The bill became effective when signed.

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May 2, 2019 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Hawaii Capitol Building

The 30th Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on May 2 after 60 legislative days in session. During the session, House Bill 165 passed adding a new registration and reporting requirement for noncandidate committees. Committees that do not intend to receive […]

The 30th Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on May 2 after 60 legislative days in session.

During the session, House Bill 165 passed adding a new registration and reporting requirement for noncandidate committees.

Committees that do not intend to receive contributions or make expenditures of more than $1,000 in an election period must notify the commission of its intent in the committee’s organizational report by the fifth calendar day, before the due date of the preliminary primary report.

The 31st Legislature is scheduled to convene on January 15, 2020.

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April 17, 2019 •

Hawaii Governor Signs Noncandidate Committee Reporting Bill

Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 165 on April 16, adding a new registration and reporting requirement for noncandidate committees in an election period.

Under the bill, a noncandidate committee that does not intend to receive contributions or make expenditures in aggregate of more than $1,000 in an election period must notify the commission of its intent in the committee’s organizational report.

Notification must be made by the fifth calendar day before the due date of the preliminary primary report.

The bill became effective April 16 upon approval by the governor.

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March 1, 2019 •

Hawaii Electronic Filing System Available

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission’s electronic filing system for lobbying disclosures is now available. The E-Filing System allows for filing of lobbyist registrations and expenditures reports. The E-Filing system is available at: https://hawaiiethics.force.com/lobbying/s/

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission’s electronic filing system for lobbying disclosures is now available.

The E-Filing System allows for filing of lobbyist registrations and expenditures reports.

The E-Filing system is available at: https://hawaiiethics.force.com/lobbying/s/

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February 28, 2019 •

Hawaii Proposed Bill Progresses Through Legislature

A proposed House bill relating to campaign reports is progressing through the Legislature, passing its third reading and arriving in the Senate. House Bill 165 would require candidates who do not intend to receive or spend more than $1,000 in […]

A proposed House bill relating to campaign reports is progressing through the Legislature, passing its third reading and arriving in the Senate.

House Bill 165 would require candidates who do not intend to receive or spend more than $1,000 in an election period to notify the Campaign Spending Commission of this intention by June 30 of an election year.

The bill further provides that noncandidate committees that do not receive or spend more than $1,000 in an election period must notify the commission of this intention by the fifth day before the due date of the preliminary report.

The proposed bill would take effect upon its approval.

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February 4, 2019 •

Honolulu Announces Special Election for City Council District 4

A special election will take place on Saturday, April 13, to fill a vacancy in Honolulu City Council District 4. The Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated the results of the November special election that showed incumbent Trevor Ozawa beating challenger Tommy […]

A special election will take place on Saturday, April 13, to fill a vacancy in Honolulu City Council District 4.

The Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated the results of the November special election that showed incumbent Trevor Ozawa beating challenger Tommy Waters by 22 votes.

The invalidation triggered a mail-in special election for the candidates.

There will be a voter registration deadline of March 14. Early walk-in voting will take place at Honolulu Hale between April 1 and April 13, excluding Sunday.

City Council District 4 runs from Hawai’i Kai to Waikiki.

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January 11, 2019 •

Hawaii Proposed Legislation Seeks to Change Campaign Finance Laws

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission submitted four measures for introduction in the 2019 legislative session, proposing changes for Super PACs, candidate committees and electioneering communications. Proposal CSC-01 (19) would change the disclosure date for electioneering communications to when the electioneering […]

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission submitted four measures for introduction in the 2019 legislative session, proposing changes for Super PACs, candidate committees and electioneering communications.

Proposal CSC-01 (19) would change the disclosure date for electioneering communications to when the electioneering communication is publicly distributed rather than when the contract for the electioneering communication is executed. Additionally, the expenditure aggregate would be increased to $2,000, all mailings and not just those sent at bulk rate would be covered, and candidate and noncandidate committees would be required to file statements of information.

Proposal CSC-02 (19) would require candidate committees to file a first Preliminary General Report on October 1.

Proposal CSC-03 (19) would impose a $5,000 fine on Super PACs that received at least one contribution of more than $10,000 from any one person or spent more than $10,000 aggregate in an election period and would permit the fine to be up to three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure. The measure would also call for the fine to be paid from the personal funds of an officer of the noncandidate committee.

Finally, Proposal CSC-04 (19) would require candidates who do not intend to have more than $1,000 in activity to provide notice to the Commission of such intent by June 30 of an election year and to require noncandidate committees who do not intend to have more than $1,000 in activity to provide notice to the Commission of such intent by the fifth calendar day prior to the due date of the Preliminary Primary Report.

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January 2, 2019 •

Release Date for Hawaii Electronic Filing System Pending

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission announced the new electronic filing system for lobbying registrations and disclosures is currently being tested and will not be available in early January as anticipated. Lobbyists who plan to continue lobbying in 2019 must renew […]

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission announced the new electronic filing system for lobbying registrations and disclosures is currently being tested and will not be available in early January as anticipated.

Lobbyists who plan to continue lobbying in 2019 must renew registrations as usual by Monday, January 28.

Lobbying expenditure reports are due as usual on Thursday, January 31.

The Commission will hold a training session on January 7 at 10 a.m. to provide an overview of the lobbying laws.

The Commission has yet to announce a release date for the new e-filing system.

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December 7, 2018 •

Hawaii Announces New Electronic Filing System

The Hawaii Ethics Commission will launch a new electronic filing system for lobbying registrations and disclosures beginning in January 2019, allowing lobbyists and organizations to register online for the 2019-2020 legislative biennium. Lobbyists who plan to continue lobbying in 2019 […]

The Hawaii Ethics Commission will launch a new electronic filing system for lobbying registrations and disclosures beginning in January 2019, allowing lobbyists and organizations to register online for the 2019-2020 legislative biennium.

Lobbyists who plan to continue lobbying in 2019 must renew registrations by Monday, January 28, 2019. Commission staff are available to assist lobbyists who have already registered for the 2019-2020 lobbying period via a paper filing.

Lobbying expenditure reports for 2019 may be submitted electronically through the new e-filing system as early as March 2019.

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