December 2009 Home   Newsletters

April 2010

July 2010

Can Hawaii Attain Food Security?
LWV and KITV Present Election Debate (Pearl Johnson)
Big Island Public Finance Campaign Trial (Beppie Shapiro)
Public Access Room: 20 Years of Great Service (JoAnn Maruoka)
Jean Aoki Addresses Hawaii County Meeting (Helen Hemmes)
Happy 90th Anniversary (Piilani Kaopuiki)
LWV-HI Banner Ad: 'Vote Openly on HB 444' (JoAnn Maruoka)
Forum on Supreme Court decision on Campaign Finance (JoAnn Maruoka)
Lessons Learned from Vote Count (Sue Irvine)
The 2010 Legislative Session (JoAnn Maruoka)
Big Island Report (Helen Hemmes)
We're Cleaning Out
Healthcare Bill (Joy Marshall)
Honolulu League Welcomes New Members
Weekly Obtains Rail Final EIS (Pearl Johnson)
Allow citizens to register and vote on same day (Les Ihara)
League Supports Governor's Rail Review (Charles Carole)
Calendar of Events

The 2010 Legislative Session

Despite stepping down as League's legislative liaison (see our website for testimony on issues important to League going back to 2005), Jean Aoki has still done the heavy lifting on assessing bills, developing and presenting testimony, and guiding our legislative efforts. She is very effective for League and Hawaii citizens, and highly respected by legislators on both sides of the aisle and their staff. Her incredible thought process, writing and presentation skills set a very high standard. Mahalo, Jean!

Campaign Financing HB2003, a huge bill to update, organize, and clarify current campaign financing laws (not intended to amend those laws, as League testified). Despite that, the Judiciary committee chair removed parts that dealt with corporate transparency, among others. The Finance Committee reinserted some restrictions but fell short of important requirements in the original. League and other concerned groups expressed our concerns to the full House. HD3, an amendment to remedy this, passed 51-0, and made it to the Senate. Though much improved, we testified as did many others that HB3 still needs to close ethical loopholes, maximize transparency, and preclude undue influence of money in our political system. The committee postponed decision making until 3/30.

Public Education Government Television (HB2902) The bill appears to be stopped. The initial bill undercut the “public” portion of PEG Television, and resulted in voluminous opposing testimony, including League’s, and a very large public turnout to the hearing. Subsequent amendments resulted in HD2, which requires the audits of the allocation of cable operator franchise fees and of Olelo Community TV.

Legislative residency requirements (HB59 HD1) The bill proposes a constitutional amendment to require candidates for the Legislature to be residents of the district which they would represent for at least 12 months prior to a general election. League testified in support, but the bill was deferred.

Voting – to establish citizens’ right to vote, and permanent absentee voting.(HB1344) This bill was deferred. League supported establishing a statutory right to vote for the citizens of Hawaii. Though most people take it for granted, neither the U.S. nor the State Constitution explicitly gives citizens the right to vote.

Legislative cablecasts (HR205) This resolution establishes policies for the legislative cablecasts of House proceedings. League testified in support and recommended having the Public Access Room (PAR) director select house hearings and floor sessions to be broadcast. The Director is the administrator for the broadcast project and keeps abreast of the issues before the Legislature. Regrettably, the unmodified bill was referred. It is still alive.

As we fight for openness, government accountability, citizen access, financial disclosure and precluding conflicts of interest, there are challenges and roadblocks. The widespread anger at the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC may help on fair elections and public financing.

That said, we must report that the following bills, on which we provided supportive testimony, are dead for this session:

Supporting a direct corporate campaign contribution ban Creating an Elected Office of Secretary of State Elections Earlier dates for the Primary and filing deadlines (to accommodate voting needs of military and overseas citizens per requirements of the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act)

Military and Overseas Civilian Absentee Voters (provisions for absent military & overseas civilian voters as recommended by the Federal Voting Assistance Program)

Public Financial Disclosure (for those who make important financial decisions on public projects)

Supporting freedom of .information in Hawaii

Requesting the Legislature to: Maintain/improve public access to and transparency of legislative processes;

Webcast all legislative proceedings; Address conflicts of interest;

and to

Support expanded lobbyist disclosures

JoAnn Maruoka

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