July 16, 2018 •

Hawaii Senate Confirms Judicial Nominees

The 29th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its first special session on Tuesday, July 10. Lawmakers convened the two-day session to confirm Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s judicial nominations for various district courts. The Senate confirmed Kenneth J. Shimozono, Mahilani E.K. Hiatt, […]

The 29th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its first special session on Tuesday, July 10.

Lawmakers convened the two-day session to confirm Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s judicial nominations for various district courts.

The Senate confirmed Kenneth J. Shimozono, Mahilani E.K. Hiatt, and Wendy M. Deweese for six-year terms on the District Family Court of the First Circuit.

Kristine Y. Yoo was confirmed to a six-year term on the District Court of the First Circuit.

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May 4, 2018 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The 2018 session of the Hawaii State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 3. Senate Bill 2154 passed and was transmitted to the governor upon adjournment. If Gov. Ige signs the bill, noncandidate committees will no longer be required […]

The 2018 session of the Hawaii State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 3.

Senate Bill 2154 passed and was transmitted to the governor upon adjournment. If Gov. Ige signs the bill, noncandidate committees will no longer be required to include contributor information on their campaign finance organizational reports.

The Legislature will reconvene in regular session at 10 a.m. on January 16, 2019.

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March 23, 2018 •

Hawaii State Rep. Joe Souki to Resign Amid Harassment Allegations

Former Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki is being forced to resign after admitting to inappropriately touching and kissing multiple women over his legislative tenure. His resignation is part of a State Ethics Commission settlement agreement stemming from allegations filed by […]

Former Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki is being forced to resign after admitting to inappropriately touching and kissing multiple women over his legislative tenure.

His resignation is part of a State Ethics Commission settlement agreement stemming from allegations filed by multiple women.

The Commission agreed to resolve the matter if Souki resigns by March 30, issues a public apology, pays an administrative fine, and does not seek public office for two years.

Souki, 86, has served in the Hawaii State Legislature since 1982.

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January 30, 2018 •

Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Announces Resignation to Become Lobbyist

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui announced he will be resigning on Wednesday to join a lobbying and public affairs firm as senior vice president. In his announcement, Tsutsui cited the difficulty of working on Oahu with his family being on […]

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui announced he will be resigning on Wednesday to join a lobbying and public affairs firm as senior vice president.

In his announcement, Tsutsui cited the difficulty of working on Oahu with his family being on Maui, and the new job will allow him to be on the same island as his family.

Hawaii’s revolving door restrictions only apply to legislators and employees of the Legislature.

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November 7, 2017 •

Hawaii Special Session Scheduled

The Hawaii Senate is scheduled to convene a two-day special legislative session on Tuesday, November 14, to confirm 4 judicial appointments. Choosing from a list of candidates selected by the Judicial Selection Committee, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald appointed Jessi […]

The Hawaii Senate is scheduled to convene a two-day special legislative session on Tuesday, November 14, to confirm 4 judicial appointments.

Choosing from a list of candidates selected by the Judicial Selection Committee, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald appointed Jessi Hall to the First District Family Court Judge and Gov. Ige appointed Paul Wong, Matthew Viola, and Rowena Somerville to the First Circuit Court.

Each Circuit Court judge will serve a 10-year term while the Family Court appointment has a six-year term.

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September 28, 2017 •

Hawaii Lawmakers Confirm Judicial Appointments in Second Special Legislative Session

The Hawaii Senate convened a two-day special legislative session on Monday, September 25, to confirm two judicial appointments. Choosing from a list of candidates selected by the Judicial Selection Committee, Gov. Ige had appointed former Third District Family Court Judge […]

The Hawaii Senate convened a two-day special legislative session on Monday, September 25, to confirm two judicial appointments.

Choosing from a list of candidates selected by the Judicial Selection Committee, Gov. Ige had appointed former Third District Family Court Judge Henry T. Nakamoto and attorney Robert D.S. Kim to the Third Circuit Court.

Each judge will serve a 10-year term.

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August 28, 2017 •

Hawaii Legislature to Convene Special Legislative Session

State legislative leadership submitted a proclamation on Thursday, August 24, to call the Hawaii Legislature into special session on Monday, August 28, 2017. The proclamation was filed at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house. Lawmakers […]

State legislative leadership submitted a proclamation on Thursday, August 24, to call the Hawaii Legislature into special session on Monday, August 28, 2017.

The proclamation was filed at the written request of two-thirds of the members of each house.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill drafted by committee chairs to fund the completion of the rail project on Oahu.

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July 14, 2017 •

Hawaii Lawmakers Plan for Special Legislative Session

Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki recently sent a memorandum to the Hawaii Legislature providing notice of a tentatively scheduled special legislative session. Subject to final confirmation and an agreement on the proposed language for bills […]

Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki recently sent a memorandum to the Hawaii Legislature providing notice of a tentatively scheduled special legislative session.

Subject to final confirmation and an agreement on the proposed language for bills to be discussed, the leadership asked all lawmakers to be in Hawaii for a legislative session from August 28 to September 1, 2017.

The purpose of the special session will be to create a solution to fund the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.

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June 26, 2017 •

Hawaii Governor Signs Ethics and Lobbying Bills into Law

On Thursday, June 22, Gov. David Ige signed three bills amending state lobbying and ethics laws. Among other things, the bills double the maximum administrative fine the State Ethics Commission may impose for violations of ethics or lobbying laws, amends […]

On Thursday, June 22, Gov. David Ige signed three bills amending state lobbying and ethics laws.

Among other things, the bills double the maximum administrative fine the State Ethics Commission may impose for violations of ethics or lobbying laws, amends various lobbying-related definitions, allows a former lobbyist employer to file a notice of termination when a lobbyist fails to do so, and clarifies lobbyist reporting requirements related to special legislative sessions.

The bills were effective upon approval.

Photo of Gov. Ige By Dallas Nagata White via Wikimedia Commons

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June 13, 2017 •

Scheduled Maintenance for Hawaii Campaign Finance Filing System

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission’s electronic filing systems will be offline for system maintenance from June 20, 2017, to June 22, 2017. During this time, new candidate and noncandidate committees will not be able to register electronically. Existing committees will […]

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission’s electronic filing systems will be offline for system maintenance from June 20, 2017, to June 22, 2017.

During this time, new candidate and noncandidate committees will not be able to register electronically. Existing committees will not be able to enter campaign spending data or electronically file disclosure reports.

Currently registered noncandidate committees will also not be able to import contribution and expenditure data into the NCFS Import System.

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May 5, 2017 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The 29th Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 4. Prior to adjournment, House members elected Rep. Scott Saiki as Speaker of the House. He replaces Rep. Joseph Souki, who resigned after lawmakers failed to come together to pass […]

The 29th Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 4.

Prior to adjournment, House members elected Rep. Scott Saiki as Speaker of the House. He replaces Rep. Joseph Souki, who resigned after lawmakers failed to come together to pass certain bills.

Lawmakers passed 233 bills during the 2017 legislative session, including budgets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

Pending bills will carry over to the 2018 legislative session.

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February 20, 2017 •

Hawaii Lawmakers Considering New Lobbyist Registration Threshold

Hawaii legislators are currently considering legislation aimed at closing an existing loophole in lobbyist registration and reporting rules. Currently, a lobbyist is one who spends more than five hours in a month or $750 in a reporting period attempting to […]

Hawaii-State-Capitol-300x239Hawaii legislators are currently considering legislation aimed at closing an existing loophole in lobbyist registration and reporting rules. Currently, a lobbyist is one who spends more than five hours in a month or $750 in a reporting period attempting to influence a ballot issue or legislative or administrative action.

The law is not clear, however, with regards to the activities and time to be included when determining if an individual meets the lobbyist threshold. As a result, it has been utilized as a way to avoid public disclosure.

House Bill 290 would close the loophole by amending the registration threshold. A lobbyist would include anyone paid or who expects to be paid more than $1,000 in a year for lobbying, anyone who spends five hours in one month or 10 hours in a calendar year on lobbying, or anyone who lobbies on three or more measures during a legislative session.

The bill is just one part of a legislative package supported by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The Commission is also supporting bills to increase fines for ethics and lobbying violations, to amend various definitions related to lobbying, to amend special session lobbyist reporting requirements, and to allow lobbyist employers to file notices of termination.

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September 19, 2016 •

Senate Confirms Judicial Nominees in Hawaii’s Third Special Legislative Session

The Hawaii Senate convened a third special session last week to confirm two judicial appointments. The Senate confirmed one judicial appointment for the District Family Court of the Third Circuit and another for the District Court of the Fifth Circuit. […]

Hawaii_state_capitol_from_the_south-eastThe Hawaii Senate convened a third special session last week to confirm two judicial appointments.

The Senate confirmed one judicial appointment for the District Family Court of the Third Circuit and another for the District Court of the Fifth Circuit.

The two-day special session began Tuesday and adjourned Wednesday, September 14.

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August 4, 2016 •

Honolulu Ethics Commission Appoints New Leader

Jan Yamane has been selected to fulfill the role of executive director and legal counsel for the Honolulu Ethics Commission, effective immediately. She is the former acting state auditor. Yamane replaces Charles Totto, who stepped down from the position on […]

Flag_of_Honolulu,Jan Yamane has been selected to fulfill the role of executive director and legal counsel for the Honolulu Ethics Commission, effective immediately. She is the former acting state auditor.

Yamane replaces Charles Totto, who stepped down from the position on June 15.

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