Report Title:

Ethics; Financial Disclosures; Justices and Judges

 

Description:

Extends the requirements of financial disclosures to justices and judges.

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

945

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ETHICS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. Section 84-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"84-2 Applicability. This chapter shall apply to every nominated, appointed, or elected officer, employee, and candidate to elected office of the State and for election to the constitutional convention[, but excluding justices and judges; provided that [in]:

(1) In the case of elected delegates and employees of the constitutional convention, this chapter shall apply only to the enforcement and administration of the code of ethics adopted by the constitutional convention[.];

(2) In the case of justices and judges, this chapter shall apply only to the financial disclosures required under section 84-17."

SECTION 2. Section 84-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "state agency" to read as follows:

""State agency" includes the State, the legislature and its committees, all executive departments, boards, commissions, committees, bureaus, offices, the University of Hawaii, and all independent commissions and other establishments of the state government [but excluding the courts]."

SECTION 3. Section 84-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) For the purposes of this section, the terms:

"Disclosure period" refers to the period from January 1 of the preceding calendar year to the time of the filing of the employee's [or], legislator's, justice's, or judge's disclosure of financial interests.

"Substantially the same" refers to no more than ten amendments or changes to the information reported for the preceding disclosure period."

2. By amending subsections (c) and (d) to read:

"(c) The following persons shall file annually with the state ethics commission a disclosure of financial interests:

(1) The governor, the lieutenant governor, justices of the supreme court, judges of the intermediate appellate court, judges of the circuit courts, and full-time judges of the district and district family courts, the members of the legislature, and delegates to the constitutional convention; provided that delegates to the constitutional convention shall only be required to file initial disclosures;

(2) The directors and their deputies, the division chiefs, the executive directors and the executive secretaries and their deputies, the purchasing agents and the fiscal officers, regardless of the titles by which the foregoing persons are designated, of every state agency and department;

(3) The permanent employees of the legislature and its service agencies, other than persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions;

(4) The administrative director of the State, and the assistants in the office of the governor and the lieutenant governor, other than persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions;

(5) The hearings officers of every state agency and department;

(6) The president, the vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, the chancellors, and the provosts of the University of Hawaii and its community colleges;

(7) The superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the assistant superintendents, the complex area superintendents, the state librarian, and the deputy state librarian of the department of education;

(8) The administrative director and the deputy director of the courts;

(9) The members of every state board or commission whose original terms of office are for periods exceeding one year and whose functions are not solely advisory; provided that the governor's special advisory council for technology development established pursuant to section 27-42 not otherwise subject to this subsection shall be exempt from this subsection;

(10) Candidates for state elective offices, including candidates for election to the constitutional convention, provided that candidates shall only be required to file initial disclosures; and

(11) The administrator and assistant administrator of the office of Hawaiian affairs.

(d) The financial disclosure statements of the following persons shall be public records and available for inspection and duplication:

(1) The governor, the lieutenant governor, the members of the legislature, candidates for and delegates to the constitutional convention, the members of the board of education, the trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs, and candidates for state elective offices;

(2) The justices of the supreme court, judges of the intermediate appellate court, judges of the circuit courts, and full-time judges of the district and district family courts;

[(2)] (3) The directors of the state departments and their deputies, regardless of the titles by which the foregoing persons are designated; provided that with respect to the department of the attorney general, the foregoing shall apply only to the attorney general and the first deputy attorney general;

[(3)] (4) The administrative director of the State;

[(4)] (5) The president, the vice presidents, the assistant vice presidents, the chancellors, and the provosts of the University of Hawaii;

[(5)] (6) The superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the state librarian, and the deputy state librarian of the department of education;

[(6)] (7) The administrative director and the deputy director of the courts; and

[(7)] (8) The administrator and the assistant administrator of the office of Hawaiian affairs."

3. By amending subsection (i) to read:

"(i) Failure of a justice or judge, legislator, a delegate to the constitutional convention, or employee to file a disclosure of financial interests as required by this section shall be a violation of this chapter. Any justice or judge, legislator, delegate to a constitutional convention, or employee who fails to file a disclosure of financial interests when due shall be assessed an administrative fine of $50. The state ethics commission shall notify a person, by registered mail, return receipt requested, of the failure to file, and the disclosure of financial interests shall be submitted to the commission not later than 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day after notification of the failure to file has been mailed to the person. If a disclosure of financial interests has not been filed within ten days of the due date, an additional administrative fine of $10 for each day a disclosure remains unfiled shall be added to the administrative fine. All administrative fines collected under this section shall be deposited in the State's general fund. Any administrative fine for late filing shall be in addition to any other action the commission may take under this chapter for violations of the state ethics code. The commission may waive any administrative fines assessed under this subsection for good cause shown."

SECTION 4. Section 84-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) The ethics commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) It shall prescribe forms for the disclosures required by Article XIV of the Hawaii Constitution and section 84-17 and the gifts disclosure statements required by section 84-11.5 and shall establish orderly procedures for implementing the requirements of those provisions;

(2) It shall render advisory opinions [upon]

(A) Upon the request of any legislator, employee, or delegate to the constitutional convention, or person formerly holding such office or employment as to whether the facts and circumstances of a particular case constitute or will constitute a violation of the code of ethics[.]; and

(B) To justices and judges regarding the disclosure of financial interests.

If no advisory opinion is rendered within thirty days after the request is filed with the commission, it shall be deemed that an advisory opinion was rendered and that the facts and circumstances of that particular case do not constitute a violation of the code of ethics. The opinion rendered or deemed rendered, until amended or revoked, shall be binding on the commission in any subsequent charges concerning the justice, judge, legislator, employee, or delegate to the constitutional convention, or person formerly holding such office or employment, who sought the opinion and acted in reliance on it in good faith, unless material facts were omitted or misstated by such persons in the request for an advisory opinion;

(3) It shall initiate, receive, and consider charges concerning alleged violation of this chapter, initiate or make investigation, and hold hearings;

(4) It may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony relating to matters before the commission and require the production for examination of any books or papers relative to any matter under investigation or in question before the commission. Before the commission shall exercise any of the powers authorized in this section with respect to any investigation or hearings it shall by formal resolution, supported by a vote of three or more members of the commission, define the nature and scope of its inquiry;

(5) It may, from time to time adopt, amend, and repeal any rules, not inconsistent with this chapter, that in the judgment of the commission seem appropriate for the carrying out of this chapter and for the efficient administration thereof, including every matter or thing required to be done or which may be done with the approval or consent or by order or under the direction or supervision of or as prescribed by the commission. The rules, when adopted as provided in chapter 91, shall have the force and effect of law;

(6) It shall have jurisdiction for purposes of investigation and taking appropriate action on alleged violations of this chapter in all proceedings commenced within six years of an alleged violation of this chapter by a justice, judge, legislator [or], employee [or], former legislator, or employee. A proceeding shall be deemed commenced by the filing of a charge with the commission or by the signing of a charge by three or more members of the commission. Nothing herein shall bar proceedings against a person who by fraud or other device, prevents discovery of a violation of this chapter;

(7) It shall distribute its publications without cost to the public and shall initiate and maintain programs with the purpose of educating the citizenry and all legislators, delegates to the constitutional convention, and employees on matters of ethics in government employment; and

(8) It shall administer any code of ethics adopted by a state constitutional convention, subject to the procedural requirements of this part and any rules adopted thereunder."

2. By amending subsection (d) to read:

"(d) A decision of the commission pertaining to the conduct of any justice, judge, legislator, delegate to the constitutional convention, or employee or person formerly holding such office or employment shall be in writing and signed by three or more of the members of the commission. A decision of the commission rendered after a hearing together with findings and the record of the proceeding shall be a public record."

SECTION 5. Section 84-32, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) With respect to justices, judges, legislators, and employees removable only by impeachment: when the ethics commission after due hearings pursuant to section 84-31(c) determines that there is sufficient cause to file a complaint against a justice, judge, legislator, or an employee removable only by impeachment, it shall issue a complaint and refer the matter to the appropriate body of the legislature[.] or to the chief justice of the supreme court, in the case of a justice or judge. The complaint shall contain a statement of the facts alleged to constitute the violation. The complaint shall be a matter of public record. The legislature or the chief justice, as the case may be, shall take appropriate disciplinary action unless it determines that disciplinary action is not warranted and, within thirty days of the referral of the complaint, shall notify the commission of the action taken. Days during which the legislature is not in session shall not be included in determining the thirty-day period. Any disciplinary action taken by the legislature[,] or the chief justice, as the case may be, or the fact that no disciplinary action is taken, shall be a matter of public record."

SECTION 6. Section 84-38, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]84-38[]] Judicial branch. The powers and duties assigned in this part IV to the governor shall, with respect to justices, judges, and employees in the judicial branch, be assigned to the chief justice of the supreme court."

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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