Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 627

       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. 627, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Classify any independent expenditure as a contribution to a candidate or as a contribution to each opposing candidate; and


     (2)  Require any advertisement by a noncandidate committee that makes only independent expenditures to disclose all contributors for the advertisement.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Common Cause Hawaii.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the League of Women Voters of Hawaii.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Campaign Spending Commission; Department of the Attorney General; and Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, Inc.


     Your Committee finds that transparency in campaign advertising is important for ensuring fair and properly run elections.  Your Committee further finds that independent expenditures advocating for the election of a candidate benefit that candidate as much as direct contributions to the candidate's committee do.  However, your Committee additionally finds that classifying independent expenditures supporting or opposing a candidate as a contribution to that candidate or as a contribution to each opposing candidate would result in those candidates and their committees being responsible for election expenses over which they have no control.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Requiring noncandidate committees and other persons making independent expenditures to indicate which candidates they are supporting or opposing on expenditure reports and electioneering communication statements instead of attributing independent expenditures to the candidates and candidate committees that benefit from the expenditures;


     (2)  Requiring the Campaign Spending Commission to post independent expenditure information for each candidate on the Commission's website;


     (3)  Removing language requiring any advertisement by a noncandidate committee that makes only independent expenditures to disclose all contributors for the advertisement; and


     (4)  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. 627, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 627, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


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