President's Message (Sue Irvine)
Maui Will Get Out the Vote (Joshua Cooper & Tamara Horcajo)
Healthcare Task Force Members
Kauai Studies Transportation (Carol Bain)
Informal Discussions Resume
Honolulu League Takes Up Housing (Jackie Parnell)
Task Force Plans Healthcare for All (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG) (Grace Furukawa)
New Board of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii
Secrecy Is on the Rise (Carol Bain)
Sex Offender Web Site (Jaurene Judy)
Still Working for Clean Elections (Grace Furukawa)
Revised Position on Initiative and Referendum
From Grumble to Rumble: The Silver Legislature
Sex Offender Web Site
Hawaii enacted a version of Megan's Law allowing personal information on convicted sex offenders to be released to the public. In 2000 the state placed the information on a public website. After a lawsuit by the ACLU, the Hawaii Supreme Court decided in 2001 that the State Constitution required that convicted sex offenders be given an opportunity to object to the public release of personal information, and the web site was shut down. In November 2004, Hawaii residents voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment that cleared the way for state legislation regulating registration and release of information on convicted sex offenders.
In May 2004, in anticipation of the passage of the constitutional amendment, a task force ("Task Force 59") was convened by the Judicial Council of Hawaii to review public access to sex offender information and recommend legislative amendments to existing statutes. The League participated on Task Force 59 as a public member. Unfortunately, the members of Task Force 59 were unable to reach consensus on proposed legislation. Nevertheless. in 2005 the Attorney General's office introduced legislation that was revised and passed after public hearings. The Hawaii ACLU, among others, testified against portions of the A.G.'s proposed legislation. In part the legislation allowed for release of sex offender information via a public website managed by the A.G.'s office.
In 2005 the website was reactivated; however. within the first week, news reports indicated some of the personal information posted was incorrect. This embarrassed the A.G.'s office and may have created problems for those persons whose information was incorrectly listed. The State Constitutional Amendment and subsequent legislation allows for the public's right to access personal information about convicted sex offenders; however, vigilance is required to ensure that the personal information accessible on a website is accurate. We will keep League members informed of future developments.