July 22, 2016 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Special Legislative Session

The Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its special session sine die on Wednesday, July 20. Prior to adjournment, lawmakers voted to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill to authorize severance benefits or early retirement incentives for employees who would […]

Hawaii-State-Capitol-300x239The Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its special session sine die on Wednesday, July 20.

Prior to adjournment, lawmakers voted to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of a bill to authorize severance benefits or early retirement incentives for employees who would be directly affected by the impending privatization of three state-run Maui County hospitals.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 13, 2016 •

Hawaii Legislators Convene Special Legislative Session

Hawaii legislators convened a special session Tuesday after Gov. David Ige vetoed a bill intended to assist state employees who will be affected when three Maui county hospitals are taken over by Kaiser Permanente on October 1. The state must […]

Hawaii_state_capitol_from_the_south-eastHawaii legislators convened a special session Tuesday after Gov. David Ige vetoed a bill intended to assist state employees who will be affected when three Maui county hospitals are taken over by Kaiser Permanente on October 1.

The state must decide how to transition employees from state service to private service in the largest privatization project in modern state history. Lawmakers met briefly on Tuesday before breaking for recess; they will reconvene Monday.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 12, 2016 •

Hawaii State Ethics Commission Selects New Executive Director

Dan Gluck is the new executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Gluck served as legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii before being unanimously selected by the commission. He replaces Les Kondo, who was appointed […]

Seal of the State of Hawaii.svgDan Gluck is the new executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Gluck served as legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii before being unanimously selected by the commission. He replaces Les Kondo, who was appointed by the state Legislature to serve as state auditor.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 16, 2016 •

Executive Director of Honolulu, HI Ethics Commission Resigns

Chuck Totto, executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, resigned effective immediately. Totto acknowledged some commissioners do not trust him to make important decisions. He blamed his resignation, in part, on his longstanding adversarial relationship with the administration of Mayor […]

Flag_of_Honolulu,Chuck Totto, executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, resigned effective immediately.

Totto acknowledged some commissioners do not trust him to make important decisions. He blamed his resignation, in part, on his longstanding adversarial relationship with the administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Through a spokesperson, Caldwell thanked Totto for his service to the city. Caldwell will face off against Totto’s attorney, former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, in this year’s mayoral race.

Totto has not decided what he will do next, but confirmed he will not seek the vacant position leading the State Ethics Commission.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 7, 2016 •

Honolulu Departments and Agencies Relocating

Several Honolulu departments and agencies will soon be moving into the recently renovated Kapalama Hale, a 55,000 square-foot building formerly known as the Sprint Building. The first phase of relocation begins mid-June with the Department of Customer Service driver licensing […]

Flag_of_Honolulu,Several Honolulu departments and agencies will soon be moving into the recently renovated Kapalama Hale, a 55,000 square-foot building formerly known as the Sprint Building.

The first phase of relocation begins mid-June with the Department of Customer Service driver licensing and Satellite City Hall operations moving from City Square to the new facility. Other departments, including the Ethics Commission, are scheduled to move at a later date.

To minimize disruption of service to the public, the moves will occur on weekends with only one day of closure for each facility.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 7, 2016 •

Jurisdiction Added to our Website

The number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients. In that […]

Map_of_Hawaii_highlighting_Kauai_CountyThe number of municipalities and regional governments our research associates track continues to grow. We now cover almost 300 municipalities and local governments. This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the needs of our clients.

In that effort, we have added abridged jurisdictions to our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited number of relevant local laws, provide the core information our clients need for their government relations work.

The new jurisdiction is: Kauai County, Hawaii

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 6, 2016 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The 28th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its regular session sine die on May 5, 2016. Among other things, lawmakers approved funding for air-conditioning in public schools, appropriated money for statewide homeless programs, increased funds for preschool programs to provide families […]

HawaiiThe 28th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned its regular session sine die on May 5, 2016.

Among other things, lawmakers approved funding for air-conditioning in public schools, appropriated money for statewide homeless programs, increased funds for preschool programs to provide families with opportunities for school readiness, and focused on growing jobs and the state economy.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 4, 2016 •

Hawaii State Ethics Commission Seeking New Executive Director

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is currently accepting applications for Executive Director to replace former executive director and chief legal counsel, Leslie Kondo. The Legislature appointed Kondo as the new state auditor in April; his eight-year term began May 1. […]

Seal of the State of Hawaii.svgThe Hawaii State Ethics Commission is currently accepting applications for Executive Director to replace former executive director and chief legal counsel, Leslie Kondo. The Legislature appointed Kondo as the new state auditor in April; his eight-year term began May 1.

Kondo spent the last five years cracking down on certain activities by lawmakers and issuing strict interpretations of the state ethics code. While no longer monitoring legislative ethics, Kondo believes his new position will allow him to continue to promote public confidence in state government.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 15, 2016 •

Honolulu Charter Commission Considers Amending Gift Provisions

The Honolulu Charter Commission is considering a proposal today to clarify conflict-of-interest provisions for city employees and officials. Current charter provisions prohibit employees and officials from soliciting or accepting any gift, directly or indirectly, if it can reasonably be inferred […]

Flag_of_Honolulu,The Honolulu Charter Commission is considering a proposal today to clarify conflict-of-interest provisions for city employees and officials. Current charter provisions prohibit employees and officials from soliciting or accepting any gift, directly or indirectly, if it can reasonably be inferred the gift is intended to influence the officer or employee in the performance of official duties. The new proposal would prohibit only those gifts intended to influence an officer or employee in the performance of official duties and benefiting the official, his or her family, or individuals or organizations with which he or she has a past, present, or future connection.

Proponents argue the proposal creates a clear standard of conduct, while opponents claim the changes would make it more difficult to enforce gift restrictions in the future. It is inherently difficult to prove the intent behind a gift or the existence of a connection with the recipient. The proposal, therefore, will likely result in individuals, namely lobbyists, avoiding penalties. Interestingly enough, several commission members are current or former lobbyists, or work for organizations employing lobbyists.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

April 6, 2016 •

Kaua`i County Requires Lobbyists to Register and Report

Kaua`i County lobbyists will soon be required to register with the county clerk within five days of engaging in lobbying. The mayor signed a new lobbying ordinance on March 30, after council unanimously adopted the measure the week before. The […]

Map of Kauai County, HawaiiKaua`i County lobbyists will soon be required to register with the county clerk within five days of engaging in lobbying. The mayor signed a new lobbying ordinance on March 30, after council unanimously adopted the measure the week before. The ordinance defines a lobbyist as one who is compensated for more than five hours in any month to communicate with a state or county officer or employee with the purpose of influencing any legislative or administrative action.

Spending more than $750 on lobbying during any reporting period will require registration even if the five-hour threshold is not met. Lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and individuals spending $750 or more on lobbying must file an annual statement of expenditures on or before January 31, covering the previous calendar year.

A violation of the lobbying ordinance may result in an administrative fine for each violation, as well as suspension or revocation of lobbyist registration. The lobbying ordinance is effective July 28, 2016.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 21, 2016 •

Executive Director of Honolulu Ethics Commission on Leave Following Internal Investigation

Chuck Totto, executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, is on leave following an internal personnel investigation. The commission received a complaint regarding Totto’s management of staff and hired an independent investigator. Totto has been the executive director for over […]

Honolulu-Hale-frontcornerviewChuck Totto, executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission, is on leave following an internal personnel investigation. The commission received a complaint regarding Totto’s management of staff and hired an independent investigator.

Totto has been the executive director for over a decade, but has publically struggled to get along with Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his appointees on the commission for the past three years. Conflict emerged in 2013 when Totto investigated the mayor’s inaugural luau, an event largely funded by lobbyists and city contractors.

Totto has been on leave since March 1 and is expected to return on April 4.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 16, 2016 •

Tuesday Lobbying and Campaign Finance News Update

Lobbying Florida: “Lobbying firms pull in cash as year ends” by Jim Saunders in the Tallahassee Democrat Hawaii: “Lobbying Law Proposed For Kauai” by Chad Blair in the Honolulu Civil Beat Idaho: “Bill would make university, state agency lobbyists report […]

K StreetLobbying

Florida: “Lobbying firms pull in cash as year ends” by Jim Saunders in the Tallahassee Democrat

Hawaii: “Lobbying Law Proposed For Kauai” by Chad Blair in the Honolulu Civil Beat

Idaho: “Bill would make university, state agency lobbyists report their spending” by Betsy Russell in the Spokesman Review

New Hampshire: “Political Wrangling Over ‘People’s Pledge’ in New Hampshire” by Simone Pathé in Roll Call

New Mexico: “Campaign finance fix bill triggered by KOB investigation 1 step away from clearing legislature” by Ryan Luby in KOB 4

Ethics

New Mexico: “Ethics commission proposal faces scrutiny in Senate panel” by Dan Boyd in the Albuquerque Journal

Virginia: “Senators vote to undo parts of ethics reform law” by Jim Nolan in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Elections

“DCCC Names First 16 Candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ Program” by Simone Pathé in Roll Call

Florida: “With Safe Districts Gone, Two Florida Lawmakers Taking Their Time on 2016 Decision” by Eli Yokley in Roll Call

Ohio: “Bill would ban switching political parties in Ohio primary elections” by Robert Higgs in the Plain Dealer

Procurement

Texas: “Some contractors say new Texas disclosure law confusing” by The Associated Press in KXAN

Legislative Issues

Alaska: “Longtime Alaska Lawmaker Max Gruenberg Dies” by Nathaniel Herz in Governing

Arizona: “Arizona lawmakers seek ability to more easily overturn ballot measures” by Howard Fischer in the Daily Courier

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

January 13, 2016 •

Kauai County to Consider New Lobbyist Regulations

On January 13, the Kauai County Council will begin looking at legislation regulating lobbyists. Currently, Kauai County is the only county in the state without a lobbying ordinance. The new ordinance will require lobbyists to register annually with the county […]

Seal_of_Kauai_County,_HawaiiOn January 13, the Kauai County Council will begin looking at legislation regulating lobbyists. Currently, Kauai County is the only county in the state without a lobbying ordinance.

The new ordinance will require lobbyists to register annually with the county clerk and to report annually lobbying expenditures and what the expenditures were for. Any lobbyist providing testimony at a public hearing will also be required to disclose his or her status as a lobbyists before testifying; this disclosure will have to be made each time a lobbyist testifies.

The bill will also ban all gift-giving by lobbyists. Councilman Gary Hooser, who introduced the bill, said this provision may be amended in later drafts to exclude gifts of aloha, which are items such as cookies, cheese platters, or flower leis.

The Seal of Kauai County courtesy of Collection of Chris on Wikimedia Commons.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 11, 2015 •

Hawaii Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The 28th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned sine die on May 7, 2015. Lawmakers passed a range of bills this year, including a 100 percent renewable energy goal for the state and a bill to establish a system of statewide medical […]

Hawaii State CapitolThe 28th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned sine die on May 7, 2015.

Lawmakers passed a range of bills this year, including a 100 percent renewable energy goal for the state and a bill to establish a system of statewide medical marijuana dispensaries by next summer.

The legislature is expected to reconvene next January.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close