STAND. COM. REP. NO. 565
RE: H.B. No. 327
Honorable Joseph M. Souki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2015
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 327 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to place restrictions on the solicitation and acceptance of campaign contributions by a state legislator, their employees, or a person acting on behalf of the legislature during legislative sessions.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Prohibits legislators, their employees, or a person acting on behalf of the legislator from conducting fundraisers during regular and special sessions, including recess days, holidays, weekends, or extensions to any legislative session;
(2) Provides an exemption to contributions postmarked prior to the commencement of a regular or special session; and
(3) Repeals the $25 contribution threshold from the definition of "fundraiser".
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Common Cause Hawaii, Open Law Alliance, Hawaii Women's Coalition, and six concerned individuals. The Campaign Spending Commission submitted comments on this measure.
Your Committee finds that there is a concern that fundraisers held by legislators while the Legislature is in session provides an undue opportunity for lobbyists to influence public policy. However, the measure as received by your Committee is overly broad in its scope and may be unnecessarily restrictive. Consequently, in order to strengthen the public's confidence in the legislative process and to avoid situations that may be colored by impropriety, this measure has been amended to prohibit certain fundraising activity during key legislative deadlines.
Specifically, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing the amendment to the definition of the term "fundraiser";
(2) Prohibiting fundraisers for legislators within one week prior to the following deadlines of regular sessions:
(A) First lateral filing;
(B) First decking;
(C) Second lateral filing;
(D) Second decking; and
(E) Final decking;
(3) Authorizing legislators to receive contributions during other, non-prohibited periods of a regular or special session; and
(4) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of style, clarity, and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 327, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 327, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair