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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 449, HD1

Relating to the
Code of Ethics

House Committee on Judiciary (JUD) - chair: Karl Rhoads, vice chair: Sharon E. Har

Friday, March 7, 2014, 2:00 p.m., Room 325

Testifier: Janet F. Mason, Co-Chair, Legislative Committee

Click here to view HB449, HD1

Chair Rhoads, Vice-Chair Har, and Committee Members:

This is a “Gut and Replace” bill. It has been amended by replacing the original content with new content unrelated to the intent of HB449. For this reason, the League of Women Voters of Hawaii opposes HB449, HD1.

The original HB449 states the purpose of the Act was to require that financial disclosure statements of certain state board and commission members be made public documents and available for public inspection, while HB449, HD1 says the purpose of the Act is separating various fair treatment requirements applicable to task force members from those applicable to legislators. The original bill amended HRS 84-17, “Requirements of Disclosure” while the HD 1 amends HRS 84-13, “Fair Treatment.” The proposed HD1 draft is not even amending the same section of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

“Gut and replace” actions undermine public confidence in government because it seems something sneaky is happening in the legislative process. While the material that replaces the original wording may have merit acting in a less than open manner undermines trust. The League of Women Voters is very disappointed, for we take an active interest in having reasonable, clear ethics laws, but “Gut and Replace” must stop.

Since this clearly is a “gut and replace” measure it should be held in Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to present our testimony.


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