Bills on campaign contributions, lobbying, gifts pass Hawaiʻi legislature; headed to governor

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Ethics reform measures relating to campaign contributions, lobbying and gifts have passed both the Hawaiʻi State Senate and House of Representatives, and now head to Gov. Josh Green’s desk for signature.

House Speaker Scott K. Saiki introduced HB99, HB137 and HB142 that were recommendations made by the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, which was established by the House in 2022.

“We appreciate our Senate colleagues in their swift passage of these bills, which demonstrates our unwavering commitment to increasing transparency and accountability in the legislative process,” Saiki said in a press release. “We anticipate that these bills will be signed into law.”

House Bill 99 limits the total amount of cash a candidate, candidate committee or noncandidate committee may accept from a single person during each election period. The bill’s intent is to make cash contributions easier to trace, and to put an end to campaign law violations with cash. The legislation is part of the Campaign Spending Commission bill package.


“This bill would make certain campaign finance law violations easier to detect and thus prevent,” Kirstin Izumi-Nitao, executive director of the Campaign Spending Commission, said on March 7, 2023, during testimony to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

House Bill 137 HD1 sets a requirement that beginning Jan. 1, 2025, lobbyists who file a statement of expenditures report must also include certain information on the identity of the legislature or administrative action that was commented on, supported by or opposed by the individual during the statement period. The measure is part of the State Ethics Commission bill package.

“By requiring lobbyists to identify the matters they lobbied on, this measure increases transparency and accountability in the lobbying process by providing more detailed information about the interests being represented and the issues being influenced,” said the State Ethics Commission on March 9, 2023, during testimony to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.


House Bill 142 prevents lobbyists from making gifts that are prohibited under state ethics law to legislators.

“The measure implements a recommendation made by the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct,” Saiki said. “It doesn’t alter Hawaiʻi’s existing gift law but by imposing a gifting restriction on lobbyists, we fully support furthering transparency in the legislative process.”

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