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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Senate Approves Publicly Funded Election Bill
By News Release @ 2:18 AM :: 1379 Views :: First Amendment, Office of Elections


News Release from Hawaii State Senate, Feb 20, 2024

Today, the Hawaiʻi State Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 2381 Senate Draft 2 (SB2381 SD2), which would establish a comprehensive system of public financing for candidates seeking election to state and county public offices, beginning with the 2028 general election year.

Hawaiʻi became a leader in public funding programs when it added language to the Hawaiʻi State Constitution in 1978 that established the partial public funding program, which candidates continue to use today.  Other comprehensive public financing programs, sometimes termed "clean elections", were established in 1996 in Maine, in 1998 in Arizona, and have since also been adopted in Connecticut and New Mexico. 

"Fully funding the elections of candidates for state and county offices who voluntarily agree to abide by campaign fundraising and expenditure guidelines will have significant public benefit," said Senator Karl Rhoads, Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and introducer of SB2381 SD2. "Comprehensive publicly-funded campaign programs allow candidates to compete without reliance on special interest money and by also allowing elected officials to make decisions without the influence, or appearance thereof, of private individuals, lobbyists, political parties, political action committees, unions, corporations, and other entities.  If passed by the House and signed by the Governor, this bill will increase public confidence in the State's candidates and elected officials."

SB2381 SD2 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration, where its companion bill, House Bill 2321, was introduced by Speaker Scott Saiki.


KHON: Bill passing Hawaii Senate sets aims at special interests, corruption



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