FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2002
Contact: Rep. Marcus Oshiro
Phone: (808) 586-8505
HOUSE ADVANCES CAMPAIGN SPENDING REFORM, USE OF HURRICANE FUNDS
The House of Representatives today advanced Senate bills to restrict political campaign contributions and to apply part of the excess Hurricane Relief Fund to restore educational services that would otherwise be cut, according the Majority Leader Marcus Oshiro.
Senate Bill 2431, Senate Draft 2, House Draft 1, aimed at reforming campaign financing practices was overwhelmingly approved. The House amended and strengthened the bill with provisions that would:
The bill also makes it a Class C felony for anyone who knowingly falsifies any report required by the campaign financing law with the intent to circumvent the law or deceive the Campaign Spending Commission. Other provisions include:
"For years, organizations dedicated to cleaning up the political process and protecting the interests of the average citizen have begged us to minimize the influence of big money in political campaigns," said Rep. Eric Hamakawa, chair, Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee. "House Democrats have attempted to enact reforms for years and I'm very encouraged that this may be the year we finally get the job done. The voters of Hawaii deserve this law."
The House also amended and advanced S.B. 706, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, to use part of the Hurricane Relief Trust Fund to restore services not provided for in the budget, Oshiro said.
"The amendments essentially parallel our original House bill that would transfer $100 million to the general fund specifically to restore educational, public health, and public safety services that would otherwise be eliminated," Oshiro said.
At the same time, the fund would be maintained at its current level with a $100 million bond authorization that would be immediately available in the event of a disaster to help homeowners, he said.
House Democrats also voted to defer debate of a recalled measure, S.B. 2077, S.D. 1, regarding photo enforcement of traffic laws.
"A House measure is moving through the Senate and we believe that is the preferred vehicle to address the concerns surrounding this controversial program. We are optimistic that we can resolve all pertinent issues in conference committee," Oshiro said.
The Legislature will reconvene in session on Tuesday, April 9, following a scheduled one-day recess.