The League of Women Voters opposes those portions of S.B. 2579 that would cause collected fines from violations of campaign contributions and expenditures to be deposited in the state general fund instead of the Hawaii election campaign fund, as currently specified.
The three places in the bill that make this change are:
Section 1 subsection (a) (5) last sentence, which reads “All penalties collected under this section shall be deposited in the [
Hawaii election campaign fund;] general fund of the State;”
Section 2, subsection (f) (3), which reads “The payment of any administrative fine payable to the [ Hawaii election campaign fund;] general fund of the State;”
Section 3, paragraph 2 subsection (d), which reads “Any administrative fine collected by the commission shall be deposited [ in the Hawaii election campaign fund;] into the general fund of the State;”
In all instances, we strongly recommend deleting the references to the “general fund of the State” and restoring the language in each to the original so that collected penalties and fines continue to go to the Hawaii election campaign fund.
We believe the existing process is appropriate and necessary, considering the source and relationship. There does not appear to be a compelling reason for this change. Rather, in view of the very real and growing citizen demand for public funding of campaigns, the need is to shore up the Hawaii election campaign fund. Regardless, collected fines from violations of campaign contributions and expenditures should not be diverted to the state general fund.
We strongly urge you to modify S.B. 2579 to reinstate the current language that specifies such penalties and fines will be deposited in the Hawaii election campaign fund. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.