Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 2257




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 2257 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to require that revenue estimates provided by the Department of Taxation to the Legislature or to any executive or administrative office be accompanied by a description of the methodology used and assumptions made in providing the estimate and that the estimate and description be open to public disclosure.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, Common Cause Hawaii, Ulupono Initiative, and two individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.


     Your Committee finds that government transparency is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship between the public and its representatives.  Each year, the Legislature proposes many measures that will or may have a resulting economic impact.  For many of these measures, the Department of Taxation provides an estimate to the Legislature of the revenue impact of the proposed legislation.  However, the Department does not necessarily provide an accompanying description of the methodology used and assumptions made in providing the estimate.  Your Committee finds that economic impact estimates can have a significant impact on the actions taken on bills.  Therefore, your Committee finds that requiring the Department to provide a description of the methodology used and assumptions made in providing the revenue impact estimate will enhance legislative decision making and promote transparency.  As a further means of promoting transparency, your Committee also finds that the Department's estimate and accompanying description of its methodology and assumptions should be made available for disclosure to the public.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2257 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,