Chair Keith-Agaran, Vice-Chair Rhoads, Members of the Committee:
I am testifying for the League of Women Voters of Hawaii. Thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of our members throughout Hawaii.
The Hawaii County pilot of comprehensive public campaign financing seems to be proving successful on the basis of its first year. We applaud the Legislature for establishing this program even before recent increased attention to campaign financing. Now, however, decisions by federal courts, including the Supreme Court, probably mean the mechanism for matching funds initially written into the program, will no longer be considered constitutional.
HB2700 revises Act 244 to change the mechanism for providing funds to publicly funded candidates, to overcome this problem. It also addresses several other improvements which are needed.
The League advocated actively for the Hawaii County Pilot, and we now strongly support these changes to it. Please act in the interest of Hawaii County candidates for County Council, and of all citizens who want to see a level playing field where individual wealth and special interest funding do not influence candidates or voters — please join us in support of HB2700.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.