Chair Ige, Vice Chair Kidani, members of Committee on Ways and Means,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports the intent of SB 250 relating to the Commission on Salaries but would like to see some amendments to this bill.
We applaud SB 250 on its inclusion of public hearings on proposed salary increases for certain members of the executive branch, the legislators and judges and justices. That will address one of the public's concerns as far as the process of determining the justification of such increases is concerned.
SB 250 commendably specifies that the public hearings shall “be subject to the open meeting and public notice requirements of Chaper 92, and that the commission shall provide public notice not less than 72 hours prior to the hearing in accordance with section 1 – 28.5 “. We would like to suggest changing the word “may” to “shall” on line 17, on page 2 of SB 250, so that a summary of the comments will be available to all of the legislators.
We feel that this is especially important because the appointing authorities of the commission are only people whose salaries will be set by the commission which does not suggest strongly that it would be an entirely disinterested group of people.
We would like to suggest that hearings be held on all of the counties, but absent that, notification should be sent to all of the islands inviting written comments from all.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on SB 250.