Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: H.B. No. 170

H.D. 1

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 170, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to clarify the application of the fair treatment and conflict of interest laws in the State Ethics Code to legislators and task force members.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, and Common Cause Hawaii.


Your Committee finds that previous amendments made to the State Ethics Code had the unintended effect of introducing ambiguity into reporting requirements for members of task forces. This measure makes further amendments to the State Ethics Code to eliminate that ambiguity. Your Committee further notes that other amendments proposed by this measure delete statutory protections for legislators taking official action, and instead apply the protections to the exercise of legislators legislative functions. "Official action" is defined in the Ethics Code and your Committee finds this is a more suitable description of the work of legislators.


Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Removing superfluous references to task force committees;


(2) Removing language that would have deleted statutory protections for legislators taking official action; and


(3) 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 H.B. No. 170, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 170, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,