STAND. COM. REP. NO.949-02
RE: S.B. No. 99
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 99 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE LIQUOR COMMISSION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to repeal a law that prohibits liquor commission employees from supporting, advocating, or aiding in the election or defeat of any candidate for public office.
The Department of Liquor Control, County of Hawaii, supported this measure and suggested amendments. The Hawaii Government Employees Association testified in support of the intent of this measure.
Your Committee believes that removing prohibitions against liquor commission employee participation in election activities allows them to exercise the same constitutional right to fully participate in the political process, free of the threat of summary discharge from employment, that is accorded other citizens in this State.
However, concerns were raised that a liquor commission employee running for public office may use the employee's position to exact campaign contributions and expenditures from licensees.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this bill by:
(1) Requiring an employee to notify the county Liquor Commission (Commission) of the employee's intent to support, advocate, or aid in the election or defeat of a candidate for political office;
(2) Requiring an employee who is a candidate for public office to take a leave of absence for a period beginning prior to the initiation of political activities related to election to that office and ending the day following the relevant general election;
(3) Prohibiting Commission employees from receiving contributions, or receiving or transferring money or anything of value from any licensee for the purpose of supporting, advocating, or aiding in the election or defeat of a candidate for public office;
(4) Authorizing the Commission to summarily dismiss an employee who violates the campaign contribution prohibition;
(5) Providing that a person who violates the campaign contribution prohibition be subject to an administrative fine of the greater of $1,000 or three times the amount of the contribution, pursuant to Section 11-228, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(6) Making various technical, nonsubstantive revisions for purposes of clarity, style, and consistency.
Your Committee notes that while the leave of absence ends the day after the general election, there is no guarantee that, if the employee wins the election, the employee could return to work, holding both positions simultaneously. This would depend on the doctrine of compatibility and have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 99, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 99, H.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs,
ERIC G. HAMAKAWA, Chair