President's Message (Maile Bay)Lunch & Learn the Law
National Action Alert - Voting Rights for D.C. Citizens
Domestic Violence: Dual Arrest (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Initiative & Referendum Study (Marian Wilkins)
Environment (Maile Bay)
Education (Mary Anne Raywid)
Campaign Finance (Laure Dillon)
Legislative Committee (Jean Aoki)
Two New Studies
League Local News - Honolulu (Pearl Johnson)
League Local News - Hawaii County (Marian Wilkins)
League Local News - Kauai (Carol Bain)
Even before the Legislature adjourned in early May last year we were busy getting support for a special session to address a provision in the State Constitution which would have given incumbent Senators an unfair advantage in the post reapportionment elections of 2002 and every post reapportionment election thereafter. With the required signatures from two-thirds of the senators, and overwhelming support of the neighborhood boards, we accomplished our goal. The amendment was ratified handily in the 2000 election.
Last year, League joined Common Cause in urging the Legislature to initiate open voting by conference committees. Democrats rewrote their rules to require a quorum of conference committee members before decisions were made. This year the House Speaker and the Senate President agreed on an amendment to the rules to require a yes vote by all assigned conference committee chairs on any bill before it could be reported out for floor votes. One committee chair could kill a bill even if all of the other chairs and committee members agreed on the amendments to the bill. Efforts to rescind the amendment were defeated.
The only election bill that survived this legislative session is one that sets up a task force to review the existing election laws and to come up with recommendations regarding vote tabulation, automatic recounts and contest procedures.
The ethics bill that passed this session decriminalizes the Lobbyist Law and allows its enforcement as civil law. A bill to ban any campaign activities at Washington Place was passed by the Senate but died in the House.