Section 2. Each political subdivision shall have the power to frame and adopt a charter for its own self-government within such limits and under such procedures as may be provided by general law. Such procedures, however, shall not require the approval of a charter by a legislative body.

Charter provisions with respect to a political subdivision's executive, legislative and administrative structure and organization shall be superior to statutory provisions, subject to the authority of the legislature to enact general laws allocating and reallocating powers and functions.

A law may qualify as a general law even though it is inapplicable to one or more counties by reason of the provisions of this section. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Cross References


General powers, see 46-1.5.


Attorney General Opinions


Until section takes effect on January 1, 1972, legislature may by general law amend county charter. Att. Gen. Op. 70-6.

Legislature may not require those running for county office to resign from present public office. Att. Gen. Op. 75-22.

Counties may provide for nonpartisan election of prosecutor. Att. Gen. Op. 85-7.

Civil service systems defined in 76-77 and 46-33 are not substantively so different as to represent special, rather than general laws for purposes of this section and article VIII, 6 of state constitution. Att. Gen. Op. 97-6.


Law Journals and Reviews


Kaiser Hawaii Kai Development Company v. City and County of Honolulu: Zoning by Initiative in Hawaii. 12 UH L. Rev. 181.

Marsland v. First Hawaiian Bank: Home Rule and the Scope of the County Prosecutor's Power. 12 UH L. Rev. 261.


Case Notes


A charter framed and adopted as authorized by this section may be amended by the legislature by general law. 50 H. 277, 439 P.2d 206.

Provisions in charter must be limited to self-government of political subdivisions and within limits of general law. 56 H. 582, 545 P.2d 684.

Counties not authorized to include charter provisions repugnant to statutes in areas of civil service and compensation. 59 H. 65, 576 P.2d 1029.

Provisions of Maui Charter on the departments of water supply, police and liquor control relate to executive and administrative structure and organization and are superior to statutory provisions. 59 H. 65, 576 P.2d 1029.

Power of legislature to enact laws of statewide concern not limited by this section; 46-21.5 and 78-18.3 not unconstitutional under this section as provisions intended to allow for integrated, equitable, and reasonable salaries among top-level officers of all jurisdictions was a matter of statewide concern and thus was a matter within the powers of the legislature. 67 H. 412, 689 P.2d 757.

County charter which permitted zoning by initiative was not superior to state statute. 70 H. 480, 777 P.2d 244.

Challenge to election results regarding proposed amendments to county charter barred by doctrine of laches. 72 H. 499, 823 P.2d 738.

Ordinance in conflict with express provision in county charter was invalid. 72 H. 513, 823 P.2d 742.



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