Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 840




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 S.B. No. 840 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


     (1)  Allow the Campaign Spending Commission to refer a complaint to the Attorney General or county prosecutor in addition to any administrative determination and without the requirement that the Commission believes the respondent has recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally committed a violation;


     (2)  Disqualify a person convicted of violating elections criminal prosecution laws from holding elective public office for ten years instead of four years; and


     (3)  Repeal language stipulating that elections criminal prosecution law does not apply to any person who has paid or has agreed to pay fines related to report filing violations and advertisement violations prior to the commencement of the proceedings.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Campaign Spending Commission.


     Your Committee finds that campaign finance violations are a matter of serious concern.  Your Committee further finds that, under existing law, the Campaign Spending Commission is unable to apply a civil remedy to a campaign finance violation that the Commission has referred for prosecution unless the prosecuting authority declines prosecution and refers the case back to the Commission.  Your Committee additionally finds that this process can take years in some cases.  This measure gives the Commission flexibility in dealing with serious campaign finance violations.


     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. 840 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 Judiciary,