Panel Again Revises Staggered Terms for Hawaii Senate Seats

Will the third time be the charm?

Staff for the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission have again calculated staggered terms for Hawaii Senate seats, citing errors for the second time in less than two weeks.

Hawaii senators typically are elected to four-year terms, so approximately half have to run for re-election every two years. But because of reapportionment, next year all lawmakers need to run for re-election, even those who were just elected in 2010. Figuring out the staggered terms could not happen until the commission finalized new political boundaries, which happened at its Sept. 26 meeting.

At that meeting, the commission approved a plan that called for Kaneohe Sen. Jill Tokuda to be the only senator elected in 2010 to have to run for a second two-year term in 2012.

Later that week, staff sent out a revised list of staggered terms that added Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz to Tokuda's boat as having to run for a second two-year term in 2012 after just being elected in 2010.

At a meeting this week to approve the revised plan, staff again revised the list of staggered terms.

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