Gov. Green signs “good government” bills on transparency and accountability
Governor Josh Green, M.D. today signed seven bills into law he’s calling “good government” bills, to advance the goals of ethics, lobbying, and campaign spending laws in Hawai‘i.
“The people of Hawaiʻi deserve a transparent and accountable government. I said it during my time as Lt. Governor, I said it during my campaign, and I have repeated it many times, including in my State of the State address, because I believe it is a critical part of effective government that delivers for our people,” said Gov. Green in a news release.
“The bills I have signed into law today were crafted by many great and collaborative minds and will allow even more sunshine into the executive and legislative branches of government. They will increase our transparency and accountability to our residents,” he said.
The legislation was proposed by the State Campaign Spending Commission, the State Ethics Commission, and the State Office of Elections; and the bills were introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki by request of the entities.
Details are posted below along with the governor’s reasoning:
Amends the definition of “fundraiser” under Election Laws to include all functions held for the benefit of candidates, candidate committees, and noncandidate committees, regardless of the price or suggested contribution for attending the function.
Furthers public transparency and improves public confidence in campaigns by requiring a notice of intent to hold a fundraiser for which any price is charged or any contribution is suggested for attendance.
Requires the Campaign Spending Commission to publish on its website the names of candidate and persons who qualify as noncandidate committees who fail to file an organizational report or a corrected organizational report with the Commission.
Improves compliance with filing requirements and brings awareness of noncompliance to the public. Publishing the names of noncandidate committees who fail to file an organizational report will motivate these committees to do so.
Limits to $100 the total amount of cash a candidate, candidate committee, or noncandidate committee may accept from a single person during each election period.
Imposes limitations similar to those placed on anonymous cash contributions, thereby making violations of campaign finance law easier to detect and prevent.
Shortens the deadline for the validation of ballots following an election.
Aligns the deadline by which voters must cure any deficiency with the return envelope with the deadline for the county election divisions to validate ballots.
Beginning 1/1/2025, requires the statement of expenditures filed by lobbyists and other persons who engage in lobbying activities to include certain information on the identity of the legislative or administrative action that was commented on, supported by, or opposed by the person filing the statement during the statement period.
Provides greater transparency on lobbying activities by requiring specific information on the legislative or administrative action lobbied on, instead of a broad subject area.
Provides the State Ethics Commission with the discretion to maintain or destroy records of financial disclosure statements beyond the current six-year statutory requirement. Applies retroactively to applicable disclosures that are in the Commission’s possession and control.
Provides the State Ethics Commission with greater flexibility in determining when to destroy or maintain its records after the mandatory retentions period has lapsed.
Prohibits lobbyists from making gifts that are prohibited under state ethics law.
Improves standards of conduct by prohibiting lobbyists from making certain gifts to legislators and state employees. Lessens the number of situations where a legislator or state employee must refuse a prohibited gift.
- Campaign Spending Commission
- Office of Elections
- State Ethics Commission