Chair Karamatsu, Vice chair Ito, members of the Committee on Judiciary,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 59, HD1, which proposes an amendment to the
State Constitution to require at least a one-year residence in a district for candidates to run for office to represent that district in the Legisilature .
It was maybe a decade ago that we successfully urged an amendment to the State Constitution which required residency in a district prior to filing for office as opposed to the provision which only required residency in the district by the General Election. This bill goes one better by requiring more familiarity with the district one wishes to represent.
We believe that it is a responsibility as well as a distinct honor to represent people of a district in the Legislature, and people deserve someone representing them who they feel knows the district and understands its people and the issues confronting them . I believe that it is understood that problems that arise in this regard when the district lines change with redistricting after the 2010 Census will not punish an incumbent who is thrown into a new district because of population movement.
We ask for your support of HB 59, and we thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of this amendment.