STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2110
RE: S.B. No. 2142
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2142 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LOBBYISTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Remove the requirement that failure to file a statement or report required by the lobbyists law be willful in order to be subject to an administrative fine; and
(2) Clarify that the Hawaii State Ethics Commission may assess an administrative fine pursuant to a settlement agreement.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, Common Cause Hawaii, and League of Women Voters of Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that existing statutory provisions relating to administrative penalties for lobbyists who fail to file required statements or reports are obsolete and inconsistent with other provisions of the lobbyists law. The existing state of mind requirement is no longer appropriate now that failing to file or report is no longer a criminal misdemeanor. Administrative fines are also appropriate as conditions for the settlement of violations without the need for a hearing.
Your Committee has concerns that removing the requirement that failure to file a statement or report required by the lobbyists law be willful in order to be subject to administrative fine could create a standard approaching strict liability for such a violation. Your Committee finds that this issue raises concerns that merit further consideration and encourages further discussion to establish a reasonable standard other than strict liability.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language that deleted the requirement that failure to file a statement or report required by the lobbyists law be willful in order to be subject to administrative fine; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of 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 S.B. No. 2142, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2142, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair