House passes CISC reform bills
News release from House Democratic Caucus, March 8,. 2023
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House of Representatives yesterday passed eleven remaining bills relating to ethics reform. The measures were introduced based on recommendations made in the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct (CISC) Final Report. The measures now crossover to the Hawaiʻi Senate for consideration.
In a pledge to increase transparency and accountability in state and county government, in 2022, the House of Representatives formed a blue ribbon commission to propose legislative reform recommendations to the Legislature. The Commission came up with 31 recommendations on ethics laws, campaign finance laws, and government reform; of which, 30 proposals were intended for the House of Representatives and introduced by Speaker Scott K. Saiki during the 2023 legislative session.
As of the first crossover deadline, 23 out of the 28 bills proposed by the Commission passed third reading in the House and will crossover to the Senate. The 2 resolutions proposed by the Commission have also been incorporated into the House Rules for the 2023-2024 biennium.
"These bills combined with the amendments to the House Rules that have already been adopted demonstrates the House's commitment to the public to take ethics reform and the CISC recommendations seriously," said Speaker Scott K. Saiki.
With the legislative session underway, the House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs has heard each ethics reform bill and received testimony from members of the public. JHA Chair David A. Tarnas (D-8, North & South Kohala) displayed transparency in the legislative process by providing justication on any deferred measures.
"After reviewing our existing laws and discussing measures that have been introduced this session, the House reaffirms that ethics reform legislation sets the tone in ensuring the highest standards of integrity among our elected officials. It reinforces our commitment to transparency, accountability, and improving public trust," said Representative Tarnas.
At a previous Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs hearing, CISC Chair Judge Dan Foley testified in support of the House’s efforts, stating that its actions have "moved us forward in terms of greater transparency, accountability, and public trust."
"Thank you so much for hearing every Commission bill, even those that have companion bills through the Ethics Commission and Campaign Spending Commission. It is deeply appreciated, and I think it serves a public purpose. I also want to thank the Committee and the House for its new Rules of Procedure and Administrative Manual which adopts and incorporates many of the Commission's recommendations from its proposals concerning a citizen's bill of rights, conflict of interest, and nepotism," said Judge Foley, in testimony before JHA on February 23, 2023.
The following measures passed third reading on Tuesday, March 7 and will crossover to the Senate:
· HB 92 – Relating to Violations of Campaign Finance Law (Hawaiʻi Campaign Spending Commission Package)
· HB 95 HD2 – Relating to Partial Public Financing of Elections (Hawaiʻi Campaign Spending Commission Package)
· HB 707 HD1 – Relating to False Claims (CISC)
· HB 710 HD1 – Relating to Government (CISC)
· HB 711 HD1 – Relating to Fraud (CISC)
· HB 712 HD1 – Relating to Recordings of Public Meetings (CISC)
· HB 717 HD1 – Relating to Nepotism (CISC)
· HB 719 HD1 – Relating to Public Records (CISC)
· HB 723 HD1 – Relating to the Sunshine Law (CISC)
· HB 727 HD1 – Relating to Campaign Funds (CISC)
· HB 732 HD1 – Relating to Complaints Alleging Violations of Campaign Spending Laws (CISC)