May 6, 2013 •
Campaign finance bill passes and awaits governor’s signature
The Hawaii State Legislature bid aloha Thursday as it adjourned for the year. In total, the Legislature introduced 2,872 bills and passed 293 of them. Those 293 passed bills will now head to Governor Neil Abercrombie’s desk for his signature.
Among the most important bills passed, was a campaign finance bill aimed at increasing transparency in the campaigning process. House Bill 1147 was passed Thursday night and is now headed to Governor Abercrombie’s desk. Under the bill, non-candidate committees only making independent expenditures will be required to list the names of the top three contributors on all advertisements broadcasted, televised, circulated, or published, which includes posting on the Internet. Originally, the bill required the top five contributors to be disclosed, but it was amended to only include the top three.
Still, Hawaii lawmakers were very pleased with the passage of this particular bill. Representative Chris Lee, the author of the bill, said, “All the political ads they see on TV that are sponsored by these loose organizations with no real background – these folks will have to disclose who the funders actually are so that people can actually go to the ballot box informed about what they’re about to vote on.”
Senate President Donna Mercado Kim added, “We should have transparency that people are free to go ahead and have their First Amendment, if it’s by way of donation and contributing, but we should be able to know who’s doing it.”
Governor Abercrombie has 45 days, excluding weekends and holidays, to sign the bill and if he does, the bill will become effective on November 5, 2014.