East Hawaii News

Abercrombie: No Veto for Financial Disclosure Bill

June 30, 2014, 6:31 PM HST
* Updated June 30, 6:32 PM
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced he will let a bill become law that expands the requirement for public disclosure of financial statements to members of 15 state boards and commission.

Abercrombie last week placed the measure, Senate Bill 2682, on a list of 10 bills he was considering vetoing.

The governor said today that after further review, he will allow the bill to become law without his signature.

“There are tough issues to be considered in this bill with competing values: legitimate inquiry into possible conflicts regarding the public interest versus legitimate concerns about personal information on family, finances, credit history and medical records becoming cannon fodder in political battles,” Abercrombie said in a statement announcing his decision.

The law will apply to members of the Public Utilities Commission, University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Board of Education, Hawaii Community Development Authority, Board of Land and Natural Resources and others.

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Two members of the UH Board of Regents, John Dean of Oahu and Saedene Ota of Maui, resigned earlier this month citing concerns about the bill.

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The governor’s inclusion of the bill on his possible veto list drew criticism from Sen. David Ige, considered Abercrombie’s chief opponent in the Aug. 9 primary.

Ige noted at the time that the bill received unanimous support in the Legislature.

“I think it’s incredible that the governor is planning to veto a bill that increases government transparency and accountability and was unanimously passed in both the House and the Senate,” Ige said last week in a statement. “The Legislature listened to the many citizens who want a more open government, and I call on the governor to do the same.”

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Ige issued another statement today calling Abercrombie’s decision “a great day for openness and transparency in Hawaii’s government.”

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