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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

SB 755 SD1 (SSCR 782)

Relating to
County Ethics Commissions (standards for selection)

House Committee on Judiciary (JUD) - chair: Waters, vice chair: Oshiro

Thursday, March 15, 2007, 4:00 p.m. Room 325

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

Click here to view SB755 SD1

The League of Women Voters strongly supports S.B. 755 SD1 to provide standards for the selection of County Ethics Commissioners to ensure their impartiality and independence. 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.

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 and impartiality.

We agree that the selection process for our State Ethics Commission is a sound reference model, and we heartily concur with requiring the counties to establish a selection process that ensures minimal involvement by those who are subject to an ethics commission's oversight.

The requirement that Commissioners be appointed from a list of nominees selected by an independent body and not be subject to confirmation by the county legislative body is a good one. This will help assure the public of consistency in standards that apply to both the state and local governments, and reflect the people's expectations for integrity.

We strongly urge you to pass S.B. 755 SD1. Thank you for the opportunity to testify in its support.


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