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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

SB 947

Proposing Amendments to the Hawaii Constitution Relating to
Executive Agencies

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor (JDL) - chair: Hee, vice chair: Kokubun

Tuesday, February 6, 2007, 9:00 a.m. Room 229

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

Click here to view SB947

The League of Women Voters opposes SB 947, which proposes an amendment to the Hawaii constitution to change the process so that the senate's failure to reject or act on an appointment to any office, including justices and certain judges, within 30 days thereof will be deemed to be a rejection of the appointment.

We see this approach of passive rejection as avoidance of responsibility to provide fair hearings and make considered decisions. Under the current process, if the senate fails to reject any appointment within 30 days, it is deemed to have given consent. That is reasonable since it means there is no persuasive reason for rejecting an appointment. However, the proposed 180-degree change frankly appears to be a "cop out", ducking out of actually assessing a proposed appointment and determining if and why it should be rejected. Anyone being considered for appointment deserves a hearing and fair evaluation of his/her qualifications. The process should ensure that any rejection reflects a real consideration of salient factors. There is also the possibility of the unintended consequence of such automatic rejections causing a backlog of appointments, which does not serve the public well.

We urge that SB 947 be held in committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this bill.


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