Civil Beat Topics

Hawaii Legislature

Hawaii Legislature

The Hawaii State Legislature consists of two houses: the Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate has 25 elected members and the House has 51. Senators serve four-year terms while representatives serve two-year terms. Currently, the Democratic Party controls the majority in the Senate and House.

Under the current state constitution, Hawaii’s government is organized into three branches: Executive, Judicial and Legislative.

The Legislature meets on the third Wednesday in January and convenes for 60 work days that excluding the weekends, holidays, and recess days, according to Article III, Section 10 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

The responsibilities of the Legislature include appointing the state auditor, whose office was established to evaluate the performance of state agencies, departments and offices to ensure accountability. The auditor reports its findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature, which often directs the office to make investigations.

Are We Willing To Accept A D+ In Public Integrity? Wikimedia Commons

Are We Willing To Accept A D+ In Public Integrity?

Guided by the right values, we can set a standard for public integrity as strong as our standard for tourism excellence. And we can do it in 2016.

Hawaii Care Homes: Officials Seek More Money, Not Tougher Inspections Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Care Homes: Officials Seek More Money, Not Tougher Inspections

Health Department officials say they want to stop giving care home operators advance warning of inspections. But they have no plan to change that policy.

Ige Urged To Comply With Law On Posting Care Home Inspection Reports Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ige Urged To Comply With Law On Posting Care Home Inspection Reports

Hawaii lawmakers send the governor a letter asking him to push the Health Department to resume posting the reports.

Hawaii Regulators Not Quick on Their Feet to Define ‘Dancing’ Alana Hong/Civil Beat

Hawaii Regulators Not Quick on Their Feet to Define ‘Dancing’

For years, county liquor commissions have controlled dancing in bars and restaurants where alcohol is served. Now they have to define what it is.

Against the Law: State Stops Posting Care Home Inspection Reports Online Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Against the Law: State Stops Posting Care Home Inspection Reports Online

Blaming a lack of resources, the Hawaii Department of Health is now ignoring the requirement that took effect in January.

State, County Lawmakers Want to Explore Public Utility Option for Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

State, County Lawmakers Want to Explore Public Utility Option for Hawaii

A diverse group of more than 40 elected officials wants more options on the table as the merger deal between NextEra and Hawaiian Electric is being considered.

A Growing Consensus that the Hawaii State Hospital Must Expand Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A Growing Consensus that the Hawaii State Hospital Must Expand

The state’s newly appointed director of health wants to spend $150 million to build a 144-bed facility on the Kaneohe campus, and some top legislators are listening.

What’s Happening to Hawaii’s Push for Criminal Justice Reform? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

What’s Happening to Hawaii’s Push for Criminal Justice Reform?

In 2012, the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative set lofty goals to achieve higher efficiency and a lower inmate population. There’s been practically no progress so far.

Hawaii Senate President Wishes Breene Harimoto a ‘Speedy Recovery’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate President Wishes Breene Harimoto a ‘Speedy Recovery’

The state senator was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be undergoing treatment soon.

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend More Than $400,000 Without Accounting for It Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend More Than $400,000 Without Accounting for It

The 25 neighbor island legislators get per diems of $175 during sessions, with no receipts required. They can access the same fund between sessions, but have to explain the expenses.

Study: Hawaii Caregivers Providing Unpaid Care Worth $2.1 Billion AARP/Civil Beat

Study: Hawaii Caregivers Providing Unpaid Care Worth $2.1 Billion

AARP hopes its new report will put pressure on state Legislature to pass measures that help family caregivers.

Ige Vetoes Sex-Trafficking Bill, Seven Others Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ige Vetoes Sex-Trafficking Bill, Seven Others

UPDATED Hawaii’s governor has vetoed all eight bills that were on the list of legislation he was considering killing.

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

UPDATED State ethics director Les Kondo may be under fire, but he seems to have gotten their attention. A review of this year’s spending shows legislators are much less inclined to spend public money on questionable expenses.

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii Governor's Office

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii

The program establishes a new coordinator position to help navigate the food procurement system.

Sex Trafficking Veto Sets Stage for Comprehensive Reform Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sex Trafficking Veto Sets Stage for Comprehensive Reform

Hawaii still has a lot of problems when it comes to taking on sex traffickers, but Gov. David Ige wants to rewrite the law to make it better.

November 2015

Friday, November 13

Are We Willing To Accept A D+ In Public Integrity?

Tuesday, November 3

Hawaii Care Homes: Officials Seek More Money, Not Tougher Inspections

October 2015

Tuesday, October 27

Ige Urged To Comply With Law On Posting Care Home Inspection Reports

Wednesday, October 7

Hawaii Regulators Not Quick on Their Feet to Define ‘Dancing’

September 2015

Sunday, September 13

Against the Law: State Stops Posting Care Home Inspection Reports Online

Thursday, September 3

State, County Lawmakers Want to Explore Public Utility Option for Hawaii

August 2015

Wednesday, August 19

A Growing Consensus that the Hawaii State Hospital Must Expand

Monday, August 17

What’s Happening to Hawaii’s Push for Criminal Justice Reform?

July 2015

Thursday, July 23

Hawaii Senate President Wishes Breene Harimoto a ‘Speedy Recovery’

Tuesday, July 21

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend More Than $400,000 Without Accounting for It

Friday, July 17

Study: Hawaii Caregivers Providing Unpaid Care Worth $2.1 Billion

Tuesday, July 14

Ige Vetoes Sex-Trafficking Bill, Seven Others

Wednesday, July 8

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

Tuesday, July 7

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii

June 2015

Monday, June 29

Sex Trafficking Veto Sets Stage for Comprehensive Reform

Governor Plans to Veto Eight Bills; Rail Tax Extension Survives

Intent to Veto: What Bills Will Survive Gov. Ige’s Veto Pen?

Monday, June 8

An Unprecedented Year for Transgender Americans

May 2015

Thursday, May 28

Not All Warm and Fuzzy: Care Home Bill Would Have Forced Out a Patient

Friday, May 22

Final Pieces Fall Into Place for State Senate Reorganization

Why Is House Speaker Joe Souki Going After Ethics Director Les Kondo?

Thursday, May 21

Emergency Money Made Easy, If You’re a Democratic Governor

Monday, May 18

Honolulu Prosecutor to Hawaii Governor: Veto the Sex Trafficking Bill

Friday, May 15

Ruderman Honored as Hawaii’s Small Business Person of the Year

With Kouchi as the New Dealer, Senate Still Shuffling Its Cards

Wednesday, May 13

Sign the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Ban

Monday, May 11

Ige Was a Hands-On Guy With the Legislature — For Better or Worse

Legislature Needs More Time To Deal With Increasingly Packed Agendas

Thursday, May 7

Hawaii Lawmakers Quietly Dole Out Millions of Dollars in Grants

Wednesday, May 6

Senate Shakeup Continues With New Leadership Lineup

Ian Lind: Still No Love for Public Interest Bills at Hawaii Legislature

Tuesday, May 5

Hawaii Legislature Passes $26B Budget, 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Kouchi Takes Gavel as New Senate President After ‘Bloodless Coup’

Friday, May 1

A Rundown of Survivors and Casualties at the Hawaii Legislature

Care Home Bill Fails to Advance Despite Pleas

Plan to Retool Unfunded Liability Mandate Rejected

April 2015

Wednesday, April 29

Hawaii Senator Offers Poetic Recap of 2015 Session

Tuesday, April 28

Agreement Reached on Hawaii’s State Budget

Health Officials Concerned About Side Effects of Care Home Bill

Friday, April 24

Senate Confirms Suzanne Case to Head State Land Department

State Budget Negotiators ‘Still Have a Lot of Issues’

Thursday, April 23

Civil Beat Poll: Who’s Not to Like? Hawaii Leaders Popular With Voters

Why Are So Many of Hawaii’s Environmental Posts Still Unfilled?

Tuesday, April 21

Budget Agreements Reached on Zipper Lane, School Lunch Money

Just Say No to Balfour for Water Commission

Monday, April 20

Complete the Prescription for Medical Marijuana

Friday, April 17

House Works to Wiggle Out from Under Unfunded Liability Mandate

Tuesday, April 14

Lawmakers Blank Out Dollar Amounts for Dozens of Initiatives

Growing Criticism Over Ige’s Water Commission Appointments

Wednesday, April 8

Senate Committee Sets Hearing for Ige’s New Choice to Head DLNR

Monday, April 6

Senate Republican Budget Cuts $1.59B Off Governor’s Proposal

Deadline Extended for Governor to Nominate Cabinet, Board Members

Thursday, April 2

Ige Appoints Bassett to Fill Cultural Specialist Seat on HCDA

Anti-Bullying Measure: A Bill Whose Time Has Finally Come

Wednesday, April 1

Hawaii Senators Beef Up House Version of State Budget

Neal Milner: Ige’s Old Senate Faction Gets Checked

March 2015

Tuesday, March 31

‘Religious Freedom’ Law: The Difference Between Indiana and Hawaii

Monday, March 30

Fierce Opposition By Ag Industry Kills Pesticide Disclosure

Make Live Videoconference Testimony a Reality For Neighbor Islands

Wednesday, March 25

Lawmakers Take Another Step to Restore Preschool Money

Lawmakers Consider Funding Private Projects with State Revenue Bonds

Monday, March 23

Deal to Preserve Hundreds of Acres at Turtle Bay May Be In Jeopardy

Turtle Bay Conservation Easement At Risk After House Defers Financing Bill

Payday Lenders: Hawaii’s ‘Outrageous’ Rates Prompt Reform Efforts

Friday, March 20

Who Wants a Government Handout? Tons of Hawaii Nonprofits

No Prison-for-Pineapples After Land Swap Bill Stalls in House

Wednesday, March 18

House Sends $25.7 Billion State Budget to Senate

Board Member Financial Disclosures May Be Released Sooner Than Expected

Police Reform: High Hopes Dim as Session Unfolds

Tuesday, March 17

Senator Decries ‘Barriers’ in Domestic Violence Cases Involving Cops

Palace Intrigue and the Ching Confirmation Vote

Monday, March 16

Conflict-of-Interest Bill Faces Uphill Battle in House

Friday, March 13

Documentary Showcases History of Hawaii State Capitol

Thursday, March 12

Hawaii Lawmakers Cautious Despite Rosier Economic Outlook

Wednesday, March 11

Health Department Starts Posting More Care Home Inspections Online

House Committee Snips $226 Million Off Ige’s Budget Request

Tuesday, March 10

Bills to Extend Honolulu’s Rail Tax Clear House, Senate

Lawmakers Struggle to Boost Hawaii’s Food Production

Friday, March 6

Lawmakers Reluctant to Pass Care Home Bills that Cost State Money

Wednesday, March 4

Health Department Scraps Request to Delay Posting Inspection Reports

New Online Tool Aims to Make State Budget More Transparent

With Clayton Hee Gone, Campaign Finance Reform Is Moving Forward

February 2015

Friday, February 27

Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

Thursday, February 26

Proposed $500,000 Vanpool Grant the Latest ‘FrankenBill’

Wednesday, February 25

‘Emergency’ Money Moves Swiftly Through Hawaii Legislature

Tuesday, February 24

House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency

Carleton Ching: It’s Time to Start Over

Monday, February 23

Pension Promises Are Getting Harder for Hawaii Lawmakers To Keep

Thursday, February 19

Ige Picks DeCoite to Replace Carroll in State House

Wednesday, February 18

How Much Care Home Information Should Be on State Website?

Senate Committee Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

Former Hawaii State Rep. Mele Carroll Dies

Tuesday, February 17

Should Hawaii Ban Circuses? Zoos? Aquariums?

Marijuana Dispensary Bill Moves on to Finance Committee

Next Head of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Deemed ‘Fearless’

Care Home Industry Uses Love Story (Again) to Loosen Hawaii Laws

Friday, February 13

Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’

Hawaii House Bill Restricting Aquarium Trade Advances

Thursday, February 12

Is It Finally Time to Define Dancing in Hawaii?

Wednesday, February 11

Ige Appointments Sail Through Senate Committees

Thousands Testify on Bills to Restrict Aquarium Fishing in Hawaii

How a Handful of Hawaii Lawmakers Quietly Shapes an Entire Session

Monday, February 9

Ige’s Appointee to Head DCCA Cruises Through Senate Committee

Should Hawaii Pay People Who Were Wrongfully Imprisoned?

Inspection Reports for Some Hawaii Care Homes to Be Posted Online

Thursday, February 5

Governor Taps Hoshijo as Deputy Director of Labor Department

Hawaii Ethics Commission Fines Lobbyist, Land Use Research Foundation

Ige Backpedals On Posting Care-Home Inspection Reports Online

Wednesday, February 4

Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live?

Tuesday, February 3

House Panel Rejects Effort to Create Big Public Records Exemption

State Shells Out $200K in Claims That Fly Under the Public Radar

Monday, February 2

Hawaii House Republicans Focus on Cost of Living, Referendum, Ferry

Weekend News? Ige’s Appointments Tend to Come Late on Fridays

January 2015

Wednesday, January 28

Chief Justice Asks Legislature for $55M to Finish Kona Courthouse

Tuesday, January 27

Senate Committee Defers Public Records Bill

Monday, January 26

State Lawmakers Lambaste Mayor Over Request to Extend Rail Tax

Ige Appoints Kim to Be Special Adviser to the Governor

Friday, January 23

House Majority Leader Looks to Revive Shield Law in Hawaii

Thursday, January 22

Hawaii House Democrats Unveil Majority Package — Without Any Bills

Big Spending Questions Loom as Hawaii Legislature Convenes

Wednesday, January 21

House Speaker Wants to Tackle GMOs, Medical Marijuana, Education

Tuesday, January 20

Denby Fawcett: 2015 Legislature — Time To Stop the Financial Bleeding

Friday, January 16

Health Department Flouts Law Calling for Online Access to Care Home Reports

Sex Trafficking Measures To Be Proposed This Session

Wednesday, January 14

Health Connector, Hawaiian Electric Merger Top Senate Minority Priorities

December 2014

Friday, December 19

Group Wants $150K for Consultant to Help with Hotel Tax Revenue Recommendation

Thursday, December 18

University of Hawaii Makes Its Case for More State Support

October 2014

Tuesday, October 21

Senators to Decide if Lawyer Labeled ‘Unqualified’ Should Be Big Island Judge

Wednesday, October 15

UberX, Lyft Rerouted to Hawaii Legislature

Tuesday, October 7

New Law Gives Hawaii Unions Even More Power

September 2014

Wednesday, September 24

Hawaii Could Be $1 Billion in Hole by 2019, GOP Senator Warns

Wednesday, September 17

Hawaii Women Lawmakers Slam Police Chief for Canceling Domestic Violence Meeting

Monday, September 15

County Councils Agree to Lobby State for More Hotel Tax Revenue

Friday, September 5

Hawaii Capitol to Prepare for ‘Active Shooter’ Scenario

Tuesday, September 2

Hawaii Counties Prepare for Another Battle over Hotel Tax Revenue

August 2014

Monday, August 25

Chad Blair: Republicans on Parade

Saturday, August 9

Hawaii Legislature: Most Incumbents Win, But There Are Exceptions

May 2014

Friday, May 23

Ige Wants a Better BOE and More Transparency From UH Regents

Friday, May 2

Hawaii Legislature Pau, But Not Before Turtle Bay Land Deal Squeaks By

Thursday, May 1

Still Legal: Eating Pets, Trading Ivory and Smoking E-Cigs in Public

April 2014

Wednesday, April 30

Senate Confirms Wooley, Tamamoto Appointments as End of Session Nears

Friday, April 25

Down to the Wire: Money for Turtle Bay Land Deal, Higher Minimum Wage Approved

Thursday, April 24

Abercrombie to Ige: Where’s the $40 Million for Turtle Bay Land Deal?

Hawaii Takes ‘A Big Step’ in Making Police More Accountable for Misconduct

Wednesday, April 23

Hawaii Lawmakers Closer to a Deal on Minimum Wage While Budget Stalls

Monday, April 21

Hawaii Senate Spurns House’s Wage Plan, Offers Own Version

Friday, April 11

House, Senate Disagree on Budget to Protect Hawaii’s Clean Water Sources

Tuesday, April 8

Hawaii Rock Climbers File Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Sylvia Luke

Friday, April 4

Hawaii Attorney General Argues for More Money Amid Budget Trimming

Tuesday, April 1

Should County Councils Be Free to Meet in Public?

March 2014

Friday, March 28

Senators Snip Millions More Off State Budget, Deficit Spending Looms

Tuesday, March 25

State Board Members Resist Releasing Financial Disclosure Forms to Public

Wednesday, March 19

Slower State Revenue Growth Threatens Efforts to Reform Hawaii Prisons

Saturday, March 15

Hawaii Unions Resist Reforming Benefits for Public Retirees

Thursday, March 13

Hawaii Governor: State Will Adapt to Downgrade in Revenue Forecast

Friday, March 7

House Speaker Publicly Scolds Rep. Hanohano for ‘Intimidating’ Conduct

Thursday, March 6

House Reps Brace for Bad Economic Forecast, Trim Governor’s Budget

Wednesday, March 5

Hawaii House Bill Would End Secrecy Surrounding Suspended Cops

Smooth Passage for Most Bills at Hawaii Legislature

February 2014

Thursday, February 27

Should Hawaii Let Public Schools Raise Money for Private Nonprofits?

Tuesday, February 25

Lobbyists Would Have to Disclose More Details on Political Spending

Friday, February 21

Hawaii’s Pricey Claims Settlements Include Paying Out $30K for Sun’s Glare

Thursday, February 20

Hawaii Ethics Commission Examines How Lawmakers Spend Their Allowances

Tuesday, February 18

Hawaii Lawmakers Disclose Financial Interests Earlier This Session

Tuesday, February 11

Birth Rights: Mothers Cry Foul at Bill to Regulate Home Births

Why Do Two Hawaii Lawmakers Care So Much About Azerbaijan?

Thursday, February 6

Lawmakers May Let Public Utilities Commission Keep More Special Fund Money

January 2014

Friday, January 31

Hawaii Lawmaker Wants New Statewide Agency To Monitor Police

Saturday, January 18

Accountability, Election Reform Top Good-Government Bill List

Thursday, January 16

State Lawmakers Balk at Mayors’ Push for New Taxing Power

Saturday, January 4

Lawmakers to Look at Construction, Budget Transparency at UH

December 2013

Thursday, December 19

Hawaii Lawmakers Weigh Spending Priorities in Light of Economic Predictions

Tuesday, December 17

Hawaii Gov Spending Plan Relies on Record Surplus for New Initiatives

Saturday, December 14

County Councils, Mayors Struggle to Come Together in State Lobbying Effort

Tuesday, December 10

Big Island State Rep’s Resignation Prompts ‘Political Eulogy’

Friday, December 6

Nine Hawaii Legislators In D.C. for Annual Forum

November 2013

Thursday, November 28

Close, But Not Quite: Counties Search for Consenus on Tax Issues

Tuesday, November 26

Counties May Ask for New Taxing Power After State’s Hotel Money Grab

Saturday, November 16

16-Day Special Session Costs Three Times the Original Estimate

Friday, November 15

Winning Arguments: Hawaii Lawmakers’ Speeches on Gay Marriage

Thursday, November 14

A ‘New Era of Aloha’: Hawaii Governor Signs Marriage Equality Act

Tuesday, November 12

Senate Sends ‘Marriage Equality’ Bill to Hawaii Governor

Friday, November 8

Same-Sex Marriage Debate Splits Hawaii State Capitol in Two — Literally

Thursday, November 7

Gay Marriage Bill Clears Another Hurdle, Final House Vote Set for Friday

Tuesday, November 5

Hawaii’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill Finally Advances in the House

Monday, November 4

Gay Marriage Opponents Effectively Delay House Committees’ Decision Another Day

October 2013

Thursday, October 31

Why the Delay in Hiring a Procurement Office Chief?

Wednesday, October 30

House GOP Effort to Oust Pro-Gay Marriage Rep from Key Committee Fails

Tuesday, October 22

Hawaii House Reps Spend on Refrigeration, Mediation, Translation

Saturday, October 5

Hawaii Rep. Awana Resigns From House Leadership Position

September 2013

Friday, September 27

Hawaii Health Officials Want Mandatory Heart Defect Tests for Newborns

Tuesday, September 10

AG: Hawaii Legislature’s Subsidy for Private School Unconstitutional

Friday, September 6

Legislature Subsidizes Construction at Private Hawaii Catholic School

August 2013

Friday, August 30

Bishop Silva: Gay Marriage Causes Youth Suicides

Wednesday, August 7

Hawaii Homeless Will Have to Find Their Own Ride Back to Mainland

Thursday, August 1

Why Is Hawaii’s Technology ‘Mess’ Taking So Long to Fix?

July 2013

Thursday, July 18

VIDEO: ‘Footloose’ Creator Dean Pitchford Talks Dancing in Hawaii

Tuesday, July 16

Eat, Pray, Love — And Lobby? — At The Legislature

Sunday, July 14

VIDEO: Should Hawaii Cut Loose Its ‘Footloose’ Dancing Rules?

Thursday, July 11

Azerbaijani Aloha Sends Hawaii Lawmakers Across Planet on Pricey Trip

Wednesday, July 10

David Ige Becomes the First Challenger in Hawaii Gubernatorial Race

June 2013

Friday, June 28

Can Too Much Aloha Be a Bad Thing? Ask Hawaii’s Ethics Commission

Wednesday, June 26

A Very Special Fund Keeps Hawaii’s Electric Bills High

Tuesday, June 25

It May Not Be Love, But Hawaii Governor Leaves Fewer Bills in Limbo

Wednesday, June 5

Are Hawaii Lawmakers Weakening Support for the Elderly and Disabled?

May 2013

Wednesday, May 22

Did Hawaii’s Senate President Violate The State Ethics Code?

‘Little Voice’ Overcomes Lobbying To Limit Access To Care Home Records

Thursday, May 16

Will A New Federal Shield Law Replace The Soon-To-Be-Dead Hawaii Law?

Monday, May 13

Oahu Democrats: Female Hawaii Monarchs Dissed In Favor Of Good Friday

Friday, May 10

Lawmakers Balk At Bills Targeting 2012 Hawaii Election Flubs

Thursday, May 9

How One Lawmaker Blocks Hawaii’s Ethics Reform Year After Year

Friday, May 3

Legislature Pau: Shield Law Fireworks, Unfunded Liabilities and Education

Thursday, May 2

Session Done, But Is Hawaii Speaker Consolidating Power?

Medical Pot: Lawmakers Decide It’s No Longer A Public Safety Issue

Med School Puts Best Face Forward To Lawmakers

Wednesday, May 1

Voters To Decide If Hawaii Can Use Public Money For Private Preschool

Lawmakers’ Disagreement Leaves Hawaii Journalists Without A Shield Law

April 2013

Tuesday, April 30

Hawaii Signs Another Union Contract, But At What Cost?

Saturday, April 27

Public Preschool Plan, School Lands Development Bills Down To Final Test

Friday, April 26

Media To Lawmakers: Kill The Hawaii Shield Law

Wednesday, April 24

Hawaii Budget Negotiators Leave Early Ed Decisions Up To Committee Chairs

Tuesday, April 23

Hawaii Budget Committee Gets Down To Business As Session Nears End

Hawaii Media Still Unhappy With Latest Version of Shield Law

Friday, April 19

Battle For Hawaii’s Shield Law: House Pushes Back Against Senate

Thursday, April 18

Hawaii Lawmakers Clear Way To Reopen Big Island Prison in Budget Talks

Friday, April 12

Hawaii House, Senate Off to Early Start on Budget

Tuesday, April 9

Who Or What Is A Journalist These Days?

Saturday, April 6

Hawaii Has Budget Contingency Fund, But Where’s The Task Force?

Thursday, April 4

Sen. Hee: Shield Law Bill Protects Some Online News Sites As ‘Magazines’

Media: Shield Law Bill ‘Worthless’ After Senate Committee Amendments

March 2013

Saturday, March 30

Heterosexuals Only: Hawaii Bill Limits Chlamydia Treatment

Friday, March 29

Hawaii Rep: ‘Basis for Agreement’ In Bills To Develop School Lands

Thursday, March 28

Money for Preschool, IT, Employee Benefits in Senators’ Spending Plan

Tuesday, March 26

Budgeting Blind: Pending Union Negotiations Leave Blanks on Balance Sheet

Thursday, March 21

Hawaii Elections May Soon Get Public Funding, More Transparency

Wednesday, March 20

Hawaii’s Rising Truancy Problem Leaves Lawmakers Scrambling

Saturday, March 16

Hawaii’s Working Poor Could Get Boost From Legislature This Year

Wednesday, March 13

Hawaii Senate Stiffens Adult Care Home Online Inspections Bill

Hawaii Monitor: Business Group Presses For Sand Island Land Swap

Hawaii Shield Law: Journalists Struggle To Hold On To Legal Rights

Saturday, March 9

Hawaii Lawmakers Snip Millions of Dollars Off Governor’s Budget Request

Friday, March 8

Are Stronger Gun Laws Out Of Reach Politically?

Tuesday, March 5

Bills to Develop School Lands Face Major Vote

Friday, March 1

It’s Your Money: Student Trips, State Pays $30K

February 2013

Wednesday, February 27

In the Name of the Law: Hawaii Police Union ‘Outguns’ Students

Tuesday, February 26

A Test Of Hawaii’s Fledgling Public Records Law

Can Hawaii Dig Itself Out Of Multi-Billion Dollar Employee Benefits Hole?

Friday, February 22

Breaking The Cycle Of Money And Politics

Wednesday, February 20

Impeach Hawaii’s Governor? State Senate Establishes Causes

Tuesday, February 19

Show Us The Money: Bill Calls For Early Financial Disclosure

Saturday, February 16

Care Home Industry Pressures Lawmakers to Weaken Inspections Bill

Friday, February 15

Hawaii Governor’s Preschool Program Gets a Boost from Obama

Thursday, February 14

Why Do Hawaii’s Higher Education Committees Meet At the Same Time?

Wednesday, February 13

Are Hawaii Lawmakers Protecting A Lobbyist From the Ethics Code?

Saturday, February 9

What’s The Dealio? Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood Rock Hawaii Capitol

Friday, February 8

Hawaii Teachers Union Asks Lawmakers To Force Labor Board’s Hand

Thursday, February 7

State Audit Spurs Lawmakers To Fix School Bus Program

Tuesday, February 5

Hawaii Legislature: Is This Finally The Year For Strong Ethics Reform?

Sunday, February 3

Adult Care Homes Under Legislative Pressure To Put Public Records Online

January 2013

Thursday, January 31

Lawmakers Punch Holes In Hawaii’s Shield Law

Tuesday, January 29

Hawaii Senators: Do Something To Bring Down Electric Rates Or We Will

Does Hawaii Have a Plan to Keep Airplanes Aloft if Boeing Employees Strike?

Lights! Camera! No Action! Hawaii Film Studio Still in Disrepair

Monday, January 28

Hawaii Legislature: Thousands of Bills, So Little Time

Hawaii AG’s Office Shoots Down Bill That Would Limit Free Speech

Saturday, January 26

State Rejects Hawaii Teachers Union’s ‘Billion-Dollar’ Contract Offer

Thursday, January 24

Lobbying Lessons: What Hawaii Can Learn From Other States

Friday, January 18

Hawaii State Rep. Karen Awana Owes Thousands In Overdue Fines

Sinners, Saints and Hawaii Government

Thursday, January 17

VIDEO — Legislature’s Opening Day: Speeches, Songs, Chants and Cheers

Wednesday, January 16

Teachers Union Wants What UPW Got — Bigger Raises, Better Benefits

Tuesday, January 15

Lawsuit: Where Does Calvin Say Really Live?

Friday, January 11

High Time for Hawaii to Legalize the Shaka Bud?

Wednesday, January 9

Hawaii House Democrats: We Want Souki

Hawaii Elections Fiascos Prompt Calls For New Legislative Action

December 2012

Friday, December 14

Say No More: Hawaii House Speaker Steps Down

Wednesday, December 12

Hawaii Lawmakers Report Receiving Twice as Much in Gifts as Last Year

November 2012

Wednesday, November 28

Tax Review Panel Wants Hawaii Version of Simpson-Bowles

Wednesday, November 21

What Would the House of Souki Mean for Hawaii?

Monday, November 19

Hawaii Senate: Leadership Plays A Game Of Political Musical Chairs

Monday, November 5

Hawaii Legislature: Big Night for Democrats, Incumbents

September 2012

Monday, September 24

The University of Hawaii’s Costly Fumble

August 2012

Friday, August 31

Hawaii Shield Law Protecting Journalists Under Fire — Again

Wednesday, August 15

Concerns Of Voter Intimidation Raised In Cachola Victory

Thursday, August 9

Hawaii Legislature: Primary Results Could Bring Leadership Change

May 2012

Thursday, May 17

Milestone in Public Safety: Reforms For Parole and Probation

Friday, May 11

Oshiro: Obama’s Stance No Guarantee for Gay Marriage in Hawaii

Monday, May 7

Off The Beat: Voting With Reservations is the Ultimate Cop Out

Saturday, May 5

[VIDEO] What Hawaii Lawmakers Thought of the 2012 Legislature

Friday, May 4

Disagreement, Exemptions Marked 2012 Ledge

Thursday, May 3

Live Blog: Closing Day at the Hawaii Legislature

April 2012

Sunday, April 29

Hawaii Legislature Brings 47 Bills Back to Life

Friday, April 27

Civil Beat Poll – Assisted Suicide Support Strong

Thursday, April 26

Hawaii Lawmakers Stretch Deadline to Pass $11.2B Budget

Wednesday, April 25

Court Asked to Halt Hawaii Election to ‘Remedy Extraordinary Wrong’

Wednesday, April 18

Senate Democrats Help Each Other Raise Campaign Cash

Friday, April 13

Who Has Worst Hawaii Senate Attendance?

Wednesday, April 11

Senate: DLNR Officers Don’t Need Taser Training

Monday, April 9

What Do Hawaii Lawmakers Have Against Ethics Code?

Friday, April 6

Who Has Worst Hawaii House Attendance?

March 2012

Thursday, March 29

Who Speaks for the Abercrombie Administration?

Tuesday, March 27

Sen. Roz Baker Blasted Over Hearing Conduct

Saturday, March 24

March Madness: Hawaii Legislative Resolutions

Friday, March 23

Hawaii Lawmakers Revive Vacation Rental Bill

Thursday, March 22

Legislature May Sacrifice Environment for Economy

Wednesday, March 21

Civil Unions Returns to the Hawaii Legislature

Monday, March 19

List – Top 3 Areas Where Hawaii Less Accountable Than Other States

List – The 6 States Less Accountable Than Hawaii

Sunday, March 18

Hawaii Has No More Excuses For Not Improving Accountability

Lawmaking 101 – Hawaii Style

Friday, March 16

Hawaii Ranks Near Bottom for Enforcement of Transparency Laws

Thursday, March 15

Hawaii Money Bills at the Half-Way Mark

Wednesday, March 14

Accountability Project: Hawaii Compared With Other States

Civil Beat and the State Accountability Project

All Is Not Sunny When It Comes to Ethics in Hawaii

Grading the Nation: How Accountable Is Your State?

Friday, March 9

Reapportionment Panel Completes Map Quest

Wednesday, March 7

Still Alive at the Hawaii Ledge

February 2012

Tuesday, February 28

New Hawaii Political Boundaries Released

Thursday, February 23

Hawaii Lawmakers Again Aiming to Tax E-Commerce Sales

Tuesday, February 21

Mistake? The Story of the Death of Single-use Bag Bill in Hawaii House

Monday, February 20

Counties Want Break from Hawaii Sunshine Law

Thursday, February 16

Environmentalists Peeved At House Speaker’s ‘Unusual’ Procedural Move

Wednesday, February 15

New Political Maps: Big Island Gains Seat, Oahu Incumbents to Face Off

Friday, February 10

Legislative Shot at Easing Hawaii Gifts Law Flops

Wednesday, February 8

Hawaii Should Publish Government Legal Notices On the Internet

A Better Day Coming for Hawaii?

Tuesday, February 7

Leaders or Freeloaders?

Friday, February 3

Hawaii Lawmakers Push to Reform Gov Regent Picks

Wednesday, February 1

Say, Tsutsui Pull in Mediocre Campaign Contributions

January 2012

Monday, January 30

Hawaii Taxpayers Owe $8.2 Million for Claims Against the State

Friday, January 27

Can a Hawaii Soda Tax Reduce Obesity?

Off The Beat: Hawaii Doesn’t Need Big Brother

Wednesday, January 25

Undermining Economic Recovery

PTSD and Medical Cannabis

Thursday, January 19

Bill Resurfaces to Make Public Employee Names, Exact Salaries Private

Hawaii Reapportionment Panel Spent $600,000 on Invalidated Plan

Wednesday, January 18

PHOTOS — 2012 Hawaii Legislature Opening Day

Ethics Debate Likely to Center on Gifts Law in 2012 Legislature

What To Do With Extra Money For Charter Schools

Saturday, January 14

Expect Budget to Dominate Session — Again

Hedging Bets at the 2012 Hawaii Ledge

Friday, January 13

Hawaii Education System Could See Significant Changes in 2012

Thursday, January 12

Ethics Commission Says Lawmakers Can Pay to Attend ‘Taste of Ag’

Tuesday, January 10

Abercrombie’s Bigger Budget Still Doable With Lowered Revenue Forecast

Thursday, January 5

Be A Force For Good

Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Redistricting Plan

Wednesday, January 4

Hawaii Supreme Court Questions Legality of Redistricting Plan

December 2011

Wednesday, December 21

Return to Sender: Solar Firm Takes Back Wine Gift to Hawaii Lawmakers

Angry Birds Aren’t Leaving Hawaii Capitol

Hawaii Election 2012: A Preview

Thursday, December 15

Hawaii 2010 Legislative Campaigns Raked in $5M in Total Contributions

Hawaii to Seek More Financial Disclosure From Super PACs

Wednesday, December 14

Hawaii Sees ‘Optimistic Financial Picture’ Ahead

Saturday, December 10

Capitol Watch — Hawaii Politics and Government — Dec. 12-Dec. 18

Saturday, December 3

Capitol Watch — Hawaii Politics and Government — Dec. 5-Dec. 11

November 2011

Tuesday, November 22

Abercrombie Wants Hawaii Reapportionment Plan ‘Corrected’

Monday, November 21

Hawaii Needs a ‘Butt Bill’

Thursday, November 17

Hawaii State Salaries 2012: University of Hawaii

October 2011

Thursday, October 27

‘Deceptive Practices’ Penalty Hindering Mortgage Foreclosure Law

Saturday, October 22

Taken for a Ride: Hawaii’s Runaway School Bus Costs

Thursday, October 20

Ethics Panel OKs Free Tix to APEC Events — Again

Friday, October 14

New Plan for Hawaii Legislative Districts Draws Second Lawsuit

Capitol Watch: Oct. 14

Tuesday, October 11

At Least 3 Hawaii Lawmakers Give Back, Donate Pay Raises

Friday, October 7

Panel Again Revises Staggered Terms for Hawaii Senate Seats

Tuesday, October 4

Hawaii State Salaries 2012: The Hawaii Legislature

September 2011

Wednesday, September 28

Higher Rental Car Fee Generates Extra $5 Million

2 Hawaii Senators Could Face 3 Elections in 4 Years

Tuesday, September 27

Redistricting Panel Deals One Senator Bad Hand

Saturday, September 24

Analysis: Hawaii Tax Review Commission Has Some Teeth

Thursday, September 22

Mouse in the House

Ethics Commission: Lawmakers Can Accept Free Tickets to APEC Events

Hawaii Ethics Director Responds to ‘Brouhaha’ Over Task Force Members

Lawmakers Investigate Prison Complaints

Tuesday, September 20

Nonaka: I’ll Pay You $1 Million if My Mom Runs for Senate

Hawaii Redistricting Panel Excludes Some Military

Friday, September 16

Most Hawaii State Senators Use Facebook

Thursday, September 15

Most Hawaii State House Reps on Facebook

Hawaii Judicial Foreclosures Up, But Courts Not Overwhelmed

Thursday, September 8

2 Dozen DVD Gifts to Hawaii Lawmakers Unaccounted For

August 2011

Monday, August 22

Getting Women Equal Power Where It Counts

Saturday, August 20

The New Sheriff In Town

Wednesday, August 17

Most Hawaii Departments Spared in $50M ‘Restructuring’ Cuts

Thursday, August 4

Six Hawaii Reps Could Face Incumbents Next Year

Most States Don’t Restrict Task Force Lobbying

Wednesday, August 3

Don’t Show Me the Money

Hee Builds $300K War Chest, Tsutsui Has $100K

July 2011

Thursday, July 21

Hawaii Ethics Director: Lawmakers ‘Pushed’ the Line on Gifts

Friday, July 15

Solomon: I Have ‘Nothing to Gain or Lose’ in Redistricting

Thursday, July 14

When the Ledge Calls, Agencies Answer

Wednesday, July 13

Kymberly Pine Hit With Another Online Attack

Senator Could Give Hoopili Opponents Clout

Tuesday, July 5

Under New Foreclosure Law, Lenders Giving Families Day in Court

June 2011

Wednesday, June 29

Hawaii Judiciary: We Can’t Handle Foreclosure Flood

Hawaii Panel Votes to Include Military, Students

Monday, June 27

Capitol Watch: June 28

Furor Over Fannie Mae’s Foreclosure Decision

Monday, June 20

Medical Cannabis and Collateral Damage: Pain, Suffering Arrests

Saturday, June 18

Hawaii Organizations Spent $2.5 million on Lobbying in Four Months

Friday, June 17

Counting Residents Begs the Question: Who’s Local?

Thursday, June 16

Hawaii Attorney: Failure of Foreclosure Law Inevitable

Wednesday, June 15

Speaker Say: Hawaii Legislators Use Good Faith in Voting on Issues

Tuesday, June 14

Fannie Mae Skirts Landmark Hawaii Foreclosure Law

Hawaii Legislators Rank High in College Degrees

Supreme Court Reminds Politicians They Work For Us

Women’s Caucus Bills a Bright Spot in the Session

Saturday, June 11

Off The Beat: Lobbyists Spent Money on Hawaii Lawmakers…Somewhere

Wednesday, June 8

Hawaii Lobbyist Disagrees He Crossed Ethics Lines

Tuesday, June 7

Tsutsui Let Lawmaker Vote To Confirm His Own Son

No Conflict? I Own a Company That Brokers Health Insurance

No Conflict? I Have a Family Member at University of Hawaii

Top Council Aide Behind Hacking of Hawaii Rep’s Website, Email

Hawaii Mortgage Task Force Warned on Ethics Conflicts

Monday, June 6

No Conflict? When Reasonable Minds Disagree

No Conflict? My Family’s in Mortgage Remodification With Our Lender

No Conflict? I Serve on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid

Sunday, June 5

Capitol Watch: June 6

No Conflict? My Law Partner Lobbies This Bill

Saturday, June 4

No Conflict? My Wife Is From Peru

No Conflict? I Live on Land Zoned Agricultural

Email, Website of Hawaii Lawmaker Hacked

Friday, June 3

Organizations Spent More Than $1 Million to Lobby in First Two Months of 2011

No Conflict? At My Gas Station We Sell Petroleum Products

No Conflict? I Am an Importer of Liquor

No Conflict? My Grandson Is a Med School Student

Sixty Percent of Hawaii Senators Filed Disclosure Reports After Session

No Conflict? Ground Rules in the Hawaii House

Thursday, June 2

Hawaii Senate Keeps Public in Dark

May 2011

Friday, May 27

No Conflict: Lawmaker by Day, Lobbyist by Night

Thursday, May 26

When Hawaii Reps Ask, Say Says ‘No Conflict’

Saturday, May 21

Poi Pounder On Codifying A Cultural Art

Thursday, May 19

District Pork Hard to Track at the Ledge

Democracy Issues at the 2011 Legislature

Wednesday, May 18

Survey: Hawaii’s Most and Least Effective Lawmakers

Sunday, May 15

Speaker Say: Reflections on the Session

Friday, May 13

Playing With Power at Hawaii’s Legislature

Wednesday, May 11

Say, Oshiro Best in Hawaii House at Passing Own Bills

Hawaii Senate Chairs Excel In Passing Own Bills

Monday, May 9

Hawaii Ethics Commission Hasn’t Issued Advisory Opinion Since 2006

Sunday, May 8

Legislative Session for Gov a ‘Mixed Blessing’

Friday, May 6

Session Wrap: Agriculture, Aina Not Top Priorities

Session Wrap: Hawaii Gets New Appointed Education Board, Not Much Else

Thursday, May 5

Session Wrap: Energy Bills Pass, But Little Spark

Hawaii Lawmakers Agree Reluctantly to Salary Cuts

All Together Now: Panel Charts Redistricting Course

Session Wrap: It Came from the Ledge

Passage of Poi Bill a Major Milestone for Hawaii

Capitol Watch: May 5: Live Blogging from the Legislature

UH President: Medical School Budget Cuts “A Serious Blow”

Wednesday, May 4

Hawaii Adopts Nation’s ‘Strongest’ Foreclosure Law

Session Wrap: Gifts Were Focus Of Ethics Debate

Tuesday, May 3

Capitol Watch: May 3: Live Blogging from the Legislature

Monday, May 2

Time Running Out to Fund Hawaii’s APEC Bill

Hawaii Legislative Session Not Over Till It’s Over

Capitol Watch: May 2

Sunday, May 1

Pay Raises for Hawaii Lawmakers Still on Table

April 2011

Saturday, April 30

Pot Bills Go Up in Smoke

Friday, April 29

Law Lets Session Draw to a Close With Few Legislators Filing Disclosures

Hawaii Lawmaker Throws Dice on Casino Gambling

Fee Set at Ten Cents, But Passage Not Yet In The Bag

Thursday, April 28

Capitol Watch: April 29: Live Blogging from the Legislature

Hawaii Legislature Stalemated Over Budget

Hawaii Lawmakers Argue Over Checkout-Bag Fee

On-Bill Financing Back From The Dead

Wednesday, April 27

Hawaii On-Bill Financing Not Happening This Year

No Hawaii Lawmakers Disclose Dependents With Stocks, Mutual Funds

Tuesday, April 26

Hawaii Checkout Bag Fee Not Yet Wrapped Up

Civil Beat Shares Hawaii Legislative Agency Salaries

Monday, April 25

Most Hawaii Lawmakers Don’t Own Stock — Or So They Say, Anyway

‘Unanswered Questions’ Hold Up On-Bill Financing

Hawaii Senator: Who’s Obama’s Birth Father?

Friday, April 22

A User’s Guide to Hawaii Conference Committees

Hawaii Disclosure Law For Government Officials Not Transparent

Capitol Watch: April 25

Thursday, April 21

Should Hawaii Own Oahu’s Only Slaughterhouse?

The Price is Wrong

Redistricting Chair Now in Supreme Court’s Hands

Hawaii Lawmakers Offered Free Trip to Turkey

Wednesday, April 20

House Clashes Over Saving Hawaii Health-Care Law

Landmark Gay Rights Bills From Hawaii Legislature

Monday, April 18

Politics Divides Hawaii Reapportionment Panel

Capitol Watch: April 19

Friday, April 15

PHOCUSED On the Needy at the Hawaii Legislature

Thursday, April 14

Sixteen Abercrombie Nominees Have Withdrawn

Saturday, April 9

Board Of Ed Nominees Promise Culture Change

Thursday, April 7

Hawaii Appeals Court Rejects Obama Birther Suit

Should Hawaii Adopt Instant Runoff Voting?

Committee Approves Five Hawaii Ed Board Appointees

Tuesday, April 5

What Hawaii Senate Will Ask Ed Board Nominees

Monday, April 4

Capitol Watch: April 5

Friday, April 1

Capitol Watch: April 4

The Day The Gift Bill Died

March 2011

Thursday, March 31

‘Reso’ Fever at the Hawaii Legislature

Wednesday, March 30

Hee v. Louie

Capitol Watch: March 30

Friday, March 25

Hawaiian Lawmakers Push Akaka Bill At State Level

Thursday, March 24

Hawaii Bucks National Trend: Tax Collections Up

Bringing Home The Bacon — The Raw Numbers

Wednesday, March 23

Calvin Say Supporters Bring Home The Bacon