S.C.R. NO.









REQUESTING THE hawaii state legislature TO ADOPT joint RULES relating to conflicts of interest.


WHEREAS, Article XIV of the State Constitution states that: "The people of Hawaii believe that public officers and employees must exhibit the highest standards of ethical conduct and that these standards come from the personal integrity of each individual in government"; and

WHEREAS, this constitutional provision further requires the Legislature to adopt a code of ethics for public officers and employees of the State, which has been implemented by the adoption of the State Ethics Code in part II of chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and

WHEREAS, despite the adoption of a code of ethics, however, the conflicts of interest provisions in section 84-14(a) and (b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, do not apply to legislators. That section states in relevant part:

"(a) No employee shall take any official action directly affecting:

(1) A business or other undertaking in which he has a substantial financial interest; or

(2) A private undertaking in which he is engaged as legal counsel, advisor, consultant, representative, or other agency capacity. ...

(b) No employee shall acquire financial interests in any business or other undertaking which he has reason to believe may be directly involved in official action to be taken by him.";


WHEREAS, the exclusion of legislators from these sections is necessary in order to comply with Article III, Section 7 of the State Constitution, which states in part: "No member of the legislature shall be held to answer before any other tribunal for any ... action taken in the exercise of the member's legislative functions"; and

WHEREAS, the Legislature itself should hold members to answer for actions that may fall below standards of ethical conduct involving conflicts of interest contrary to Article XIV and the State Ethics Code; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to provide for the adoption of rules relating to conflicts of interest for legislators; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-First Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii State Legislature is requested to adopt joint rules relating to conflicts of interest before the convening of the Regular Session of 2003; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, prior to the adoption of these rules, the Legislature is requested to hold public hearings on this issue; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the rules of the Legislature should prohibit conflicts of interest and specify a remedy for actions by legislators that parallel actions that would be a violation of section 84-14(a) and (b), Hawaii Revised Statutes, if performed by state employees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each member of the Hawaii State Legislature.






Report Title:

Legislature; Joint Rules Relating to Conflicts of Interest