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Summer 1983

Action! (Marion Saunders)
League Testifies at Legislative Hearings
Voters Service (Marian Wilkins)
Juvenile Justice (Catherine Filson)
Around the State
Water (Linda Lai Hipp)
Legislation on Water (Linda Lai Hipp & Anna Hoover)
Energy (Joan Davenport)
Reapportionment Update (Anne Lee)
State Convention
LWV of Hawaii Proposed Budget 1983-84

Reapportionment Update

The League is going back to Feder-al District Court on June 20th regarding reapportionment. Last year, it was the League's arguments that convinced the three-judge panel that the proposed Congressional and state legislative reap plans violated the one-person, one-vote principle. When the State Reapportionment Commission tried again to draft another plan, it too was unconstitutional.

The Court appointed five "masters" who drew the two new Congressional and 76 legislative districts. Single member districts were used because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that court-drawn plans should not include multimember districts. The Federal District Court, however, adopted these plans as "interim" and retained jurisdiction of the case until June 30, 1983.

The League has been advocating only two principles in this lawsuit: (1) one-person, one vote to guarantee that legislative districts contain equal numbers of people; and (2) the stability of the electoral process. The League has never involved itself in supporting any particular districting plan nor does it have a position on multi-versus-single member districts.

As a result of the Court's action, the legislative districts in 1982 were very different from those in 1980 (which were drawn in 1973). The League does not believe that the 1982 districts should be drawn again for the 1984-1990 period by the Court (through its appointed masters) or the State Reapportionment Commission because new district lines may confuse voters, are unfair to incumbent legislators elected in the 1982 districts, and will result in significant administrative expenses.

On the other hand, the League will support a new remap by either the Court or Commission if:

  1. More accurate population statistics are available than were used to draw the 1982 plan; or

  2. Technical problems related to specific districts need to be cleaned up (these may or may not significantly affect current lines).

League attorney Peter Herman believes the Court may allow the Reapportionment Commission to redraft the 1982 map if the latter so desires even if new population statistics are not available and in spite of the lack of need for a new plan. However, if a new plan is drawn the League's only role will be to monitor the process and to assure that the new plan meets the one-person, one-vote principle. If it does not, the League will bring the matter back to the Court again to uphold this vital constitutional principle.


Rep. Kathleen Stanley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has asked Rep. Joan Hayes to chair an interum subcommittee to conduct an in-depth study on the subject of campaign spending. This study is sorely needed. We hope that the resolution calling for it passes and that the Senate will join in the effort.

If members of the Legislature and public join forces to write the best law possible, perhaps we can come up with a workable solution to the problem of escalating costs of campaigns.

Update: Initiative

The Senate has passed a bill for in-direct initiative. Now the bill moves to the House for a hearing. These is some question as to whether this will happen, however. Rep. Stanley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is known to be opposed on philosophical grounds to initiative measures. League members will continue to monitor its progress and to testify on its merits if given the opportunity.

Anne Lee

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