Report Title:

Hawaiian Homes Commission; Elected Commissioners

Description:

Provides for election of members to the Hawaiian Homes Commission; specifies qualification for eligibility and to vote; specifies length of term of office; provides for filling vacancies with special election. (SD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

638

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to authorize the election of the members of the Hawaiian homes commission by Hawaiian voters.

SECTION 2. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, is amended by adding four new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"A. Qualifications of commission members. (a) No person shall be eligible for election to the commission unless the person meets the following qualifications:

(1) The person is:

(A) A "native Hawaiian" as defined in section 201(7) of this Act; or

(B) A successor to a lessee as defined in section 209(a) of this Act as of the day of the election;

(2) The person has attained the age of eighteen years or will have attained that age within one year of the date of the next election of commission members; and

(3) The person is otherwise qualified to register to vote in the State.

(b) No member of the commission shall hold or be a candidate for any other public office under the state or county governments in accordance with article II, section 7, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii; nor shall a person be eligible for election to the commission if that person is also a candidate for any other public office under the state or county governments. For the purposes of this section, the term "public office" shall not include notaries public, reserve police officers, or officers of emergency organizations for civilian defense or disaster, or disaster relief.

B. Election of commission members. (a) Members of the commission shall be elected at a special election held in conjunction with the general election in every even-numbered year.

(b) Any person wishing to register as a candidate for the election as a commission member shall submit to an examination under oath by the department of Hawaiian home lands as to the person's qualifications. In addition, each candidate shall make and subscribe to an application in the form of an affidavit verifying the candidate's qualifications.

(c) The department of Hawaiian home lands shall prepare the nomination papers in such a manner that a candidate desiring to file for election to the commission shall be able to specify that the candidate is seeking a seat requiring residency on a particular island.

(d) The ballot shall be prepared in such a manner that voters qualified and registered under this Act shall be afforded the opportunity to cast ballots for the candidates seeking election to the seats representing the island on which the voter resides. The ballot shall contain the names of the candidates arranged alphabetically. Each eligible voter shall be entitled to receive the commission ballot and to vote for the number of seats available on the island on which the voter resides.

(e) The cost of the election of commission members shall be borne by the department of Hawaiian home lands.

C. Qualification of voters; registration. (a) No person shall be eligible to register as a voter for the election of commission members unless the person meets the following qualifications:

(1) The person is:

(A) A "native Hawaiian" as defined in section 201(7) of this Act; or

(B) A successor to a lessee as defined in section 209(a) of this Act;

(2) The person has attained the age of eighteen years or will have attained that age within one year of the date of the next election of commission members; and

(3) The person is otherwise qualified to register to vote in the State.

(b) The department of Hawaiian home lands shall be responsible to register all persons in each county who are eligible and wish to register as voters for the election of commission members. The maintenance, reproduction, and transmittal of records and affidavits to a central file may be in accordance with section 11-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

D. Term of office; vacancies. (a) The term of office of members of the commission shall be four years beginning on the day of the special election of the year in which they are elected and ending on the day of the special election day held four years hence; except that the term of office of commission members elected in 2005 shall be as follows:

(1) The four members elected with the highest number of votes shall serve four years; and

(2) The remaining members elected shall serve two years.

Members of the commission may be re-elected without restriction as to the number of terms.

(b) Any vacancy that may occur through any cause other than the expiration of the term of office shall be filled in accordance with section 17-   , Hawaii Revised Statutes."

SECTION 3. Chapter 17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"17-     Hawaiian homes commission; vacancies. (a) Whenever any vacancy in the membership of the Hawaiian homes commission occurs, the term of which ends at the next succeeding special election, the vacancy shall be filled within sixty days by a two-thirds vote of the remaining members of the commission.

(b) In the case of a vacancy, the term of which does not end at the next succeeding special election:

(1) If it occurs not later than on the sixtieth day prior to the next succeeding special election, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term at the next succeeding special election. The department of Hawaiian home lands shall issue a proclamation designating the election for filling the vacancy. All candidates for the unexpired term shall file nomination papers not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fiftieth day prior to the special election (but if that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday then not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately preceding) and shall be elected in accordance with the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, and this title. Pending the election, the commission shall make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy in the manner prescribed under subsection (a). The person so appointed shall reside on the island from which the vacancy occurred, shall serve for the duration of the unexpired term, and shall serve until the election of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy; or

(2) If it occurs after the sixtieth day prior to the next succeeding special election, the commission shall make an appointment to fill the vacancy in the manner prescribed under subsection (a). The person so appointed shall reside on the island from which the vacancy occurred, and shall serve for the duration of the unexpired term.

(c) All appointments made by the commission under this section shall be made without consideration of the appointee's party preference or nonpartisanship status."

SECTION 4. Section 202, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, is amended to read as follows:

"202. Department officers, staff, commission, members, compensation. (a) There shall be a department of Hawaiian home lands which shall be headed by an executive board to be known as the Hawaiian homes commission. The members of the commission shall be [nominated and appointed in accordance with section 26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes] elected in accordance with this Act. The commission shall be composed of nine members, [as follows: three shall be residents of the city and county of Honolulu; two shall be residents of the county of Hawaii one of whom shall be a resident of east Hawaii and the other a resident of west Hawaii; two shall be residents of the county of Maui one of whom shall be a resident from the island of Molokai; one shall be a resident of the county of Kauai; and the ninth member shall be the chairman of the Hawaiian homes commission. All members shall have been residents of the State at least three years prior to their appointment and at least four of the members shall be descendants of not less than one-fourth part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778.] elected pursuant to section B(a) of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as follows:

(1) Two shall reside on the island of Hawaii and shall be registered to vote on the island of Hawaii; provided that one member shall reside in east Hawaii in one of the districts of Puna, South Hilo, North Hilo, or Hamakua, and the other shall reside in west Hawaii in one of the districts of North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona, South Kona, or Kau;

(2) One shall reside on the island of Maui and shall be registered to vote on the island of Maui;

(3) One shall reside on the island of Molokai and shall be registered to vote on the island of Molokai;

(4) One shall reside on the island of Kauai and shall be registered to vote on the island of Kauai; and

(5) Four shall reside on the island of Oahu and shall be registered to vote on the island of Oahu.

The tenth member shall be the director of Hawaiian home lands who shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member. The members of the commission shall serve without pay, but shall receive actual expenses incurred by them in the discharge of their duties as [such] members. The [governor shall appoint the chairman] chairperson of the commission [from among the] shall be elected by the members [thereof.] of the commission. The commission shall appoint the director of the department who shall be compensated in accordance with section 26-52, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The commission may delegate to the [chairman] director such duties, powers, and authority or so much thereof, as may be lawful or proper for the performance of the functions vested in the commission. The [chairman of the commission] director shall serve in a full-time capacity[. He shall, in such capacity,] and shall perform such duties, and exercise such powers and authority, or so much thereof, as may be delegated to [him] the director by the commission [as herein provided above].

(b) [The provisions of section] Section 76-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall apply to the positions of first deputy and private secretary to the [chairman of the commission.] director. The department may hire temporary staff on a contractual basis not subject to chapters 76 [and], 78, and 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes, when the services to be performed will assist in carrying out the purposes of the Act. These positions may be funded through appropriations for capital improvement program projects and by the administration account, operating fund, or native Hawaiian rehabilitation fund. No contract shall be for a period longer than two years, but individuals hired under contract may be employed for a maximum of six years; provided that the six-year limitation shall not apply if the department, with the approval of the governor, determines that [such] those contract individuals are needed to provide critical services for the efficient functioning of the department. All other positions in the department shall be subject to [chapters] chapter 76, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

All vacancies and new positions which are covered by chapter 76, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be filled in accordance with section 76-22.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided that [the provisions of] these sections shall be applicable first to qualified persons of Hawaiian extraction."

SECTION 5. Section 11-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) Any person qualified to and desiring to register as a voter for the election of members of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs or of members of the Hawaiian homes commission, shall make and subscribe to an application in the form of an affidavit which shall state that the person is Hawaiian and which shall contain the information required under subsection (a). The affidavit shall also apply to all elections, primary, special primary, general, special general, special, or county, held in the State, under all voting systems used within the State, so far as applicable and not inconsistent with this title[.]; provided that the application for members of the Hawaiian homes commission shall be filed with the department of Hawaiian home lands."

SECTION 6. Section 11-25, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) Challenging prior to election day. Any registered voter may challenge the right of a person to be or to remain registered as a voter in any precinct for any cause not previously decided by the board of registration or the supreme court in respect to the same person; provided that [in]:

(1) In an election of members of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs the voter making the challenge [must] shall be registered to vote in that election[.]; and

(2) In an election of members of the Hawaiian homes commission, the voter making the challenge shall be registered to vote in that election. Jurisdiction over challenges to the election of members to the Hawaiian homes commission shall under the department of Hawaiian home lands.

The challenge shall be in writing, setting forth the grounds upon which it is based, and be signed by the person making the challenge. The challenge shall be delivered to the clerk, or to the department of Hawaiian home lands in the case of the Hawaiian homes commission, who shall forthwith serve notice thereof on the person challenged. The clerk [shall,] or the department of Hawaiian home lands, as applicable, as soon as possible, shall investigate and rule on the challenge.

(b) Challenging on election day. Any voter rightfully in the polling place may challenge the right to vote of any person who comes to the precinct officials for voting purposes. The challenge shall be on the grounds that the voter is not the person the voter alleges to be, or that the voter is not entitled to vote in that precinct; provided that only in an election of members of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs[,] or members of the Hawaiian homes commission, a person registered to vote in that election may also challenge on the grounds that the voter is not [Hawaiian.] eligible to vote in the particular election. No other or further challenge shall be allowed. Any person thus challenged shall first be given the opportunity to make the relevant correction pursuant to section 11-21. The challenge shall be considered and decided immediately by the precinct officials, or by the department of Hawaiian home lands in the case of the Hawaiian homes commission, and the ruling shall be announced."

SECTION 7. Section 12-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) Nomination papers for candidates for members of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs and for members of the Hawaiian homes commission shall be signed by [not less] no fewer than twenty-five persons registered as prescribed under section 11-15(b)."

SECTION 8. Section 12-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Nomination papers shall be filed as follows:

(1) For members of Congress, state, and county offices, and the Hawaiian homes commission, nomination papers shall be filed with the chief election officer, or county clerk in case of county offices, or with the department of Hawaiian home lands in the case of the Hawaiian homes commission, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth calendar day prior to the primary, special primary, or special election provided that if [such] that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday then not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately preceding. A state candidate from the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai may file the declaration of candidacy with the respective county clerk. The county clerk shall transmit to the office of the chief election officer the state candidate's declaration of candidacy without delay. However, if a special primary or special election is to be held by a county and the county charter requires that the council shall issue a proclamation calling for the election to be held within a specified period of time, and if that requirement would not allow the filing of nomination papers with the appropriate office by the sixtieth calendar day prior to the day for holding the special primary or special election, the council shall establish the deadline for the filing of nomination papers in the proclamation calling for the election; and

(2) For the board of trustees for the office of Hawaiian affairs, nomination papers shall be filed with the chief election officer, or with the department of Hawaiian home lands in the case of the Hawaiian homes commission, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth calendar day prior to the primary election referred to in paragraph (1); provided that if that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, then not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately preceding."

SECTION 9. Section 26-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"26-17 Department of Hawaiian home lands. The department of Hawaiian home lands shall be headed by an executive board to be known as the Hawaiian homes commission.

The commission shall be composed of nine elected members and a tenth appointed by the chairperson to serve as the director, who shall be an ex-officio, nonvoting member. The [appointment,] election, tenure, and removal of the elected members and the filling of vacancies on the commission shall be in accordance with section [26-34 and] 17-    and section [202(a)B of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended. [The governor shall appoint the chairperson of the commission from among the members thereof.]

The commission may delegate to the [chairperson] director of Hawaiian home lands such duties, powers, and authority, or so much thereof as may be lawful or proper, for the performance of the functions vested in the commission.

The [chairperson of the board] director of Hawaiian home lands shall serve in a [full time] full-time capacity and shall perform such duties, and exercise such powers and authority, or so much thereof as may be delegated to the [chairperson] director of Hawaiian home lands by the [board.] commission.

The department shall administer the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 as set forth in the Constitution of the State and by law.

The functions and authority heretofore exercised by the Hawaiian homes commission as heretofore constituted are transferred to the department of Hawaiian home lands established by this chapter."

SECTION 10. Section 26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The members of each board and commission established by law except the Hawaiian homes commission shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor. Unless otherwise provided by this chapter or by law hereafter enacted, the terms of the members shall be for four years; provided that the governor may reduce the terms of those initially appointed so as to provide, as nearly as can be, for the expiration of an equal number of terms at intervals of one year for each board and commission. Unless otherwise provided by law, each term shall commence on July 1 and expire on June 30, except that the terms of the chairpersons of the board of agriculture, and the board of land and natural resources[, and the Hawaiian homes commissions] shall commence on January 1 and expire on December 31. No person shall be appointed consecutively to more than two terms as a member of the same board or commission; provided that [membership]: (1) Membership on any board or commission shall not exceed eight consecutive years[.]; and (2) These term limitations shall not apply to the Hawaiian homes commission."

SECTION 11. The terms of the appointed members of the Hawaiian homes commission shall expire on the day of the special election to elect members of the commission.

SECTION 12. The amendments made by this Act to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, are declared to be severable and, if any section, sentence, clause, or phrase, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held ineffective because there is a requirement of having the consent of the United States to take effect, then that portion shall take effect only upon the granting of consent by the United States, and the effectiveness of the remainder of these amendments of the application thereof shall not be affected.

SECTION 13. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 and referenced in sections 4 and 9 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 14. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 15. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.