Chairs and members of the Judiciary Committee, I speak in support of HB 1130 if you include “Clean Elections for county races”. To be truly effective, public funding of campaigns must be sufficient to run a credible campaign. This bill could be a beginning to try the public funding concept in the counties. Think of not having to search each election year for dollars to support your campaign.
Others will speak to the many advantages of this program in detail. As a League member I want to speak to the importance of its passage for democracy. We must do something to assure the voters of this state that they are considered FIRST. I know all state and county representatives listen to all constituents as well as special interests, including ours, but sadly the public feels their interests are not heard, or are the last to be heard. This may or may not be true, but this perception is felt - consider the poor voting record Hawaii has. The Independent AARP survey in 2005 found 86% of the public the public believes that contributions moderately or greatly influence policies supported by legislators. There was a time when the Hawaii State Legislature was in the forefront of all states in the passage of farseeing changes that benefit its citizens. You have an opportunity again with this vitally important bill.
Thank you for seriously considering this bill.