Elected Attorney General
Proposes amendment to article V, section 6, of the State Constitution to provide that the Attorney General be elected as a nonpartisan rather than appointed by the Governor.
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE V, SECTION 6, OF THE HAWAII CONSTITUTION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE ELECTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to propose an amendment to article V, section 6, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to provide that the attorney general be elected by vote of the general public rather than appointed by the governor.
SECTION 2. Article V, section 6, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended to read as follows:
"EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICES AND DEPARTMENTS
Section 6. All executive and administrative offices, departments and instrumentalities of the state government and their respective powers and duties shall be allocated by law among and within not more than twenty principal departments in such a manner as to group the same according to common purposes and related functions. Temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes may be established by law and need not be allocated within a principal department.
Each principal department shall be under the supervision of the governor and, unless otherwise provided in this constitution or by law, shall be headed by a single executive. [
Such] The single executive shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor[ . That person] except as otherwise provided for in this section. Appointed executives shall hold office for a term to expire at the end of the term for which the governor was elected, unless sooner removed by the governor[ ; except that the removal of the chief legal officer of the State shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate].
The attorney general, the chief legal officer of the State, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at a general election to a term of four years. Candidates for attorney general shall be nonpartisan. The person receiving the highest number of votes shall be the attorney general. In the event of a tie, the selection of the attorney general shall be as provided by law.
Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, whenever a board, commission or other body shall be the head of a principal department of the state government, the members thereof shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor. The term of office and removal of such members shall be as provided by law. [
Such] The board, commission or other body may appoint a principal executive officer who, when authorized by law, may be an ex officio, voting member thereof, and who may be removed by a majority vote of the members appointed by the governor.
The governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers for whose election or appointment provision is not otherwise provided for by this constitution or by law. If the manner [
or] of removal of an officer is not prescribed in this constitution, removal shall be as provided by law.
When the senate is not in session and a vacancy occurs in any office, appointment to which requires the confirmation of the senate, the governor may fill the office by granting a commission which shall expire, unless [
such] the appointment is confirmed, at the end of the next session of the senate. The person so appointed shall not be eligible for another interim appointment to [ such] the office if the appointment failed to be confirmed by the senate.
No person who has been nominated for appointment to any office and whose appointment has not received the consent of the senate shall be eligible to an interim appointment thereafter to [
such] the office.
Every officer appointed under [
the provisions of] this section shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have been a resident of this State for at least one year immediately preceding that person's appointment, except that this residency requirement shall not apply to the president of the University of Hawaii."
SECTION 3. The question to be printed on the ballot shall be as follows:
"Shall the attorney general, the chief legal officer of the State of Hawaii, be elected by vote of the general public from among nonpartisan candidates instead of being appointed by the governor?"
SECTION 4. Constitutional material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New constitutional material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This amendment shall take effect upon compliance with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.