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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

SB 299

Related to
Residency Requirements for Members of the Legislature

Proposing an amendment to the Hawaii Constitution related to residence requirements for members of the Legislature

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations (JGO) - chair: Taniguchi, vice chair: Takamine

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 9:00 A.M. Conference Room 016

Testifier: JoAnn Maruoka, LWV of Hawaii Legislative Team Member

Click here to view SB299

Chair Taniguchi, Vice Chair Takamine, and members,

The League of Women Voters does not support SB 299. This bill would require increased state residency of five years (vice three, as current) as well as legislative district residency for not less than twelve months for all candidates for the state senate or house of representatives.

We do agree with the added eligibility requirement of twelve consecutive months residency in the respective senatorial or representative district. However, we see no good, persuasive reason to increase state residency. In fact, adding two years to the state residency requirement may well have unintended and certainly undesirable consequences, such as discouraging interest in public elected service by potentially excellent candidates, and reducing what is often already a too-small candidate pool.

Before you on today's calendar is the similar but better SB 1215, which also increases the required legislative district residency to at least twelve months but does not increase the state residency requirement.

In view of that, and because there is no sound reason to increase the required state residency, we strongly urge you to hold SB 299. Thank you for this opportunity to testify.


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