House Majority Leader Nadine Nakamura joins producer/host Coralie Chun Matayoshi to discuss new legislation passed to increase transparency, ethical awareness and oversight, and reduce the power of money in politics after former lawmakers Kalani English and Ty Cullen were convicted of taking bribes to influence legislation and other scandals by government officials.

Openness and Transparency

Act 008 – requires the statement of expenditures filed by lobbyists and other persons who engage in lobbying activities to include certain information on the identity of the legislative or administrative action that was commented on, supported by, or opposed by the person filing the statement during the statement period. Effective 1/1/2025.

HB 141 – requires each state legislator to include within the legislator’s disclosure of financial interests the names of certain lobbyists with whom the legislator has a relationship. Effective 1/1/2025.

HB 1294 – requires the office of elections and campaign spending commission to include a candidate’s legal name wherever the name requested to be printed on the ballot is used, except on the ballot.

SB 1076– requires the Office of Elections to prepare a digital voter information guide; post the guide on its website in compliance with certain accessibility standards; and mail each ballot with a notice that states a voter information guide may be found on its website. Requires the Attorney General and county corporation counsels to draft explanations of proposed constitutional or charter amendment ballot questions and translate them into certain languages for purposes of the digital voter information guide. Appropriates funds.

HB 1294 – requires the office of elections and campaign spending commission to include a candidate’s legal name wherever the name requested to be printed on the ballot is used, except on the ballot. 

Ethical Awareness and Oversight

HB 92 – increase penalties and make persons behind super PACS personally responsible to pay fines for violations if PAC runs out of money.

Act 020 – requires the State Ethics Commission to establish and administer a lobbyist training course and makes the lobbyist training course mandatory for all lobbyists.

HB  717 -prohibits under certain circumstances state employees from appointing, hiring, promoting, or retaining relatives and household members and from making or participating in certain other employment-related decisions and from awarding a contract to or otherwise taking official action on a contract with a business if the employee’s relative or household member is an executive officer of or holds a substantial ownership interest in that business. Imposes administrative fines for violations.

SB203 – allows the Campaign Spending Commission to treat a respondent’s failure to explain or otherwise respond to a complaint alleging a violation of campaign spending laws as a rebuttable presumption that a violation has occurred. Provides the respondent with thirty days from the mailing of the complaint to explain or otherwise respond before the rebuttable presumption takes effect.


HB99 – limits to $100 the total amount of cash a candidate, candidate committee, or noncandidate committee may accept from a single person during each election period.

Act 010 – prohibits lobbyists from making gifts that are prohibited under state ethics law.

SB 51– increases the amount of fines that may be assessed against noncandidate committees for violations of organizational report and advertisement disclosure requirements

SB 1493 – prohibits, during legislative sessions and shortly before and after, lobbyist contributions and expenditures, and promises of contributions or expenditures, to any elected official, candidate, candidate committee, or individual who is required to file an organizational report with the Campaign Spending Commission.

To learn more about this subject like term limits and public campaign financing, tune into this video podcast.

Disclaimer:  this material is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  The law varies by jurisdiction and is constantly changing.  For legal advice, you should consult a lawyer that can apply the appropriate law to the facts in your case.

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