Bills to Watch, Part 1: Thielen Proposes Sunshine, Good Gov’t Laws

Oahu Senator Laura Thielen says that when she  polled Hawaii voters recently about issues for the legislature to tackle,  “The issue with the highest popular support was to increase reporting on the money in and around politics – by elected officials as well as appointed ones.”

To address that concern, Thielen, Puna’s State Senator Russell Ruderman and others have  sponsored a set of five bills, described below.  Voters can testify on and follow the progress of these bills  at the links given below, and can find and track other bills of interest at, the state legislature’s official site.

SB505 Ethics; Financial Disclosure; Client Disclosure; State Executives RELATING TO FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS. Requires the governor, lieutenant governor, members of the legislature, governor-appointed executive of each principal department, president of the University of Hawaii, superintendent of education, administrative director of the State, administrative director of the courts, and the administrator of the office of Hawaiian affairs to disclose any income of $1,000 or more received from a business or service, the name of the person or business from whom the income was received, date the income was received, and a description of the services or goods rendered.


SB506 Lobbyists; Statement of Expenditures; Reporting RELATING TO LOBBYISTS. Requires lobbyists and specified individuals to file two additional reports to the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, including one report on the second Friday of August and one report on the first Monday of November in general election years, similarly to the filing frequency that candidate’s and the treasurer of candidate committees are required to file pursuant to section 11-334, Hawaii Revised Statutes.


SB507 Ethics; Disclosure; Lobbyists; Contractual Relationships RELATING TO LOBBYISTS. Requires lobbyists and persons, including a corporation, union, association, firm, sole proprietorship, partnership, organization, or committee, to file a report to the state ethics commission to disclose contractual relationships between the lobbyist or person filing the statement and a member of the legislature, a governor-appointed executive of a principal department, or a mayor-appointed county cabinet member.


SB508 Campaign Finance; Elections; Noncandidate Committee Preliminary Reports; Filing Date RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE. Requires noncandidate committee preliminary reports to be filed on October 1 of a general election year, rather than ten days prior to the general election.


SB509  Attorney General; Statement for Proposed Constitutional Amendments RELATING TO PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS. Requires the attorney general to prepare a statement for each proposed constitutional amendment in plain English that indicates the purpose, limitations, and effects of the proposed amendment. Requires the attorney general to distribute each statement to the state office of elections and all county clerks for further distribution. Requires the office of elections and county clerks to make each statement available to the public in all physical or online sites where they make proposed constitutional amendment questions available to the public.


2 replies
  1. joy cash
    joy cash says:

    All long over due & delighted to see happening!
    Let’s all contact our elected reps/senators to get these implemented.

  2. Hazen Komraus
    Hazen Komraus says:

    509 is really important, i feel like a flyer in the absentee ballots would also be huge. I kind of wish there was informatino on candidates in there too. Finding any useful info on OHA candidates is nearly impossible. Politicians in general rarely seem to publicize a platform anymore. I feel like Paleka was just elected and no one knew anything about him.

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