STAND. COM. REP. NO. 123
RE: S.B. No. 678
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 678 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Legislature to follow certain fundamental principles of the sunshine law in conducting its business, including:
(1) Requiring a majority vote to suspend a legislative rule;
(2) Requiring proposed amendments to a bill to be germane to the subject of the bill proposition, section, or paragraph to be amended;
(3) Requiring correspondence received by the Legislature or any of its single or joint committees on a measure to be considered testimony on the measure; and
(4) Requiring all floor votes, except on first reading, to be printed on the order of the day before consideration.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, Life of the Land, Common Cause Hawaii, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices.
Your Committee finds that members of the public have expressed frustrations about the lack of accessibility within the legislative process. This measure requires the Legislature to follow certain fundamental principles of the Sunshine Law, which will make the operations of the Legislature more transparent and promote accountability and democracy in legislative procedures.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that all correspondence received on a measure by the Legislature or a legislative committee is considered testimony and therefore subject to disclosure as a public record under the Uniform Information Practices Act; 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 Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 678, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 678, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair