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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

SB 755

Relating to
County Ethics Commissions (standards for selection)

Senate Committee on Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (IGM) - chair: Inouye, vice chair: Tsutsui

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 2:15 p.m. Room 229

Testifier: JoAnn Maruoka, Legislative Committee member, LWV-Hawaii

Click here to view SB755

The League of Women Voters strongly supports S.B. 755 to provide standards for the selection of county ethics commission members to ensure their impartiality and independence. This will help reassure the public of consistency in the standards that apply to both the state and local government, and reflect the people's expectations for integrity.

The County Ethics Commissions should be independent and nonpartisan. The members must have the will and the courage to fulfill their duties with impartiality and due diligence.

The selection process is critical to ensuring their independence. We heartily agree that the selection process for our State Ethics Commission is a sound reference model for ensuring independence and impartiality in the selection of county ethics commissioners. But, whatever selection guidelines and procedures the counties propose to use, those who fall under the commissions' oversight should NOT be the ones selecting the members. In this time of badly eroded public trust and confidence, we feel it's vital that every effort be made to address ethics requirements correctly and well.

We urge you to pass S. B. 755. Thank you for the opportunity to testify in its support.


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