Chair Takumi, Vice Chair Belatti, Chair Rhoads, Vice Chair Yamashita and members of the Committees:
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Hawai‘i opposes HB338, as written. Passing a bill that will limit the governor to selecting board members from a short list prepared by a selection commission defeats the primary reason for converting to an appointed board. Handing the governor a short list from which to make his selections abrogates the idea of accountability, no matter how experienced, talented and well-trained those individuals may be. The League feels that the only acceptable route to accountability will be for the sitting governor to make the nominations himself or herself with the advice and consent of the Senate, through confirmation of the nominees. It is only reasonable that in order to hold someone accountable for results, they must have the freedom to make their own choices for whoever will serve on their cabinet or board.
No process is perfect, but giving the governor freedom to select whomever he or she wants (subject to Senate confirmation) is the one that makes it possible to hold someone accountable for results (yet has a reasonable check on that power). Until we are at a place in our democracy where every citizen shares in the general responsibility for and rewards of good government, we will need to be led by a governor who accepts responsibility and accountability.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.