Chair Dela Cruz, Chair Wakai, and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports the intent of SB 523. This bill requires the governor, legislature, and judiciary to ensure public access to information, services, and proceedings for their respective branch of government. This bill also authorizes the governor to convene a statewide fair access commission to review public access issues for the neighbor islands and rural Oahu and appropriates funds for the fair access commission.
To improve clarity, we suggest the following non-substantive amendments to Section 2 of SB 523:
• Amend subparagraph (a) to make it clear that the governor is responsible for fair access to the executive branch of government (and not to the legislative and judicial branches).
• Amend subparagraph (b) to make it clear that the proposed fair access commission would address public access to the executive branch of government (and not to the legislative and judicial branches).
• Amend subparagraph (c) to replace the words “audio and visual broadcasts”, with the words “electronic broadcasts and on-demand electronic recordings”. Rather than limiting the public to watching Olelo broadcasts, we believe that the Legislature’s website should be upgraded to allow on-demand public access to electronic audio-visual recordings of all legislative proceedings.
• Amend subparagraph (d) to delete the unneeded proviso concerning judiciary determination of which judiciary records are not subject to public disclosure.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony.