HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State's public campaign funding program that was established after the 1978 constitutional convention has not adequately served its purpose, which was to establish a large neutral fund that political candidates could use as an alternative to receiving campaign contributions. Time has shown that the amount of money available to candidates and the process of obtaining the money have undermined the stated goals of the public funding program.
The purpose of this Act is to address the foregoing problems. More specifically, this Act:
(1) Allows taxpayers to make contributions of up to $20 to the Hawaii election campaign fund on their tax returns;
(2) Raises the limit on the amount of money that certain candidates may spend;
(3) Increases the maximum amount of public funds available to certain candidates;
(4) Requires candidates and candidate committees to agree to accept campaign contributions only from natural persons and sole proprietorships to be eligible to receive public funds;
(5) Increases the maximum threshold for qualified contributions from any person from $100 to $200 or less;
(6) Amends the dollar-for-dollar public fund match that qualified candidates are eligible to receive to a match of $3 for each $1 that a candidate receives from qualified contributions; and
(7) Addresses the problem of a candidate being unable to receive public funds during the primary election period when the candidate has no election opponent.
SECTION 2. Chapter 235, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§235- Voluntary contributions to the Hawaii election campaign fund authorized. (a) The department of taxation shall include a line item on state income tax forms that allows an individual, trust, partnership, or corporation to make a voluntary contribution of no more than $20 to the Hawaii election campaign fund.
(b) The line item shall appear after the final line for the calculation of the amount of the tax due or the amount to be refunded, accompanied by an explanation that the amount of a voluntary contribution shall be added to the amount of the tax owed or subtracted from the amount to be refunded; provided that if the amount of the voluntary contribution exceeds the amount to be refunded, the taxpayer shall pay to the State the amount by which the voluntary contribution exceeds the tax owed.
(c) The department of taxation shall remit to the Hawaii election campaign fund any voluntary contribution made pursuant to this section."
SECTION 3. Section 11-421, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) The fund shall consist of:
(1) All moneys collected from persons who have designated a portion of their income tax liability to the fund as provided in section 235-102.5(a);
(2) All moneys collected from persons who have made a voluntary contribution to the fund under section 235- ;
(2)] (3) Any
general fund appropriations; and
(3)] (4) Other
moneys collected pursuant to this part."
SECTION 4. Section 11-423, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:
"(d) From January 1 of the year of any primary, special, or general election, the aggregate expenditures for each election by a candidate who voluntarily agrees to limit campaign expenditures, inclusive of all expenditures made or authorized by the candidate alone, all treasurers, the candidate committee, and noncandidate committees on the candidate's behalf, shall not exceed the following amounts expressed, respectively multiplied by the number of voters in the last preceding general election registered to vote in each respective voting district:
(1) For the office of governor — $2.50;
(2) For the office of lieutenant governor — $1.40;
(3) For the office of mayor — $2.00;
(4) For the offices of
state senator, state representative, county council member, and prosecuting
attorney — [
$1.40;] $2.10; and
(5) For all other offices — 20 cents."
SECTION 5. Section 11-425, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:
"(a) The maximum amount of public funds available
in each election to a candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant
governor, or mayor shall not exceed [
ten] twenty per cent of the expenditure
limit established in section 11-423(d) for each election.
The maximum amount of public funds available in each election to a
candidate for the office of state senator, state representative, county council
member, and prosecuting attorney shall not exceed [
per cent of the expenditure limit established in section 11-423(d) for each
SECTION 6. Section 11-428, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Eligibility requirements for public funds. In order to be eligible to receive public
funds for an election, a candidate shall certify that the candidate will meet
all the following requirements:
(1) The candidate and any candidate committee authorized by the candidate shall not incur campaign expenses in excess of the expenditure limitations imposed by section 11-423;
(2) The candidate has qualified to be on the election ballot in a primary or general election;
(3) The candidate has filed a statement of intent to seek qualifying contributions. A contribution received before the filing of a statement of intent to seek public funds shall not be considered a qualifying contribution;
(4) The candidate or candidate committee authorized by the candidate has received the minimum qualifying contribution amounts for the office sought by the candidate as set forth in section 11-429;
(5) The aggregate of
contributions certified with respect to any person [
under paragraph (4)]
does not exceed [ $100;] $200;
(6) The candidate agrees to obtain and furnish any evidence relating to expenditures that the commission may request;
(7) The candidate agrees to keep and furnish records, books, and other information that the commission may request;
(8) The candidate
agrees to an audit and examination by the commission pursuant to section 11-434
and to pay any amounts required to be paid pursuant to that section; [
(9) Each candidate and
candidate committee in receipt of qualifying contributions that may be taken
into account for purposes of public funding shall maintain, on a form
prescribed by the commission, records that show the date and amount of each
qualifying contribution and the full name and mailing address of the person
making the contribution. The candidate
and the candidate committee authorized by the candidate shall transmit to the
commission all reports with respect to these contributions that the commission
(10) The candidate and the candidate committee agree to:
(A) Accept campaign contributions only from natural persons and sole proprietorships; and
(B) Return any other contribution to the contributor within twenty days of receipt of the contribution."
SECTION 7. Section 11-429, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) A candidate shall obtain the minimum qualifying contribution amount set forth in subsection (a) once for the election period.
(1) If the candidate obtains the minimum qualifying contribution amount, the candidate is eligible to receive:
(A) The minimum payment in an amount equal to the minimum qualifying contribution amounts; and
(B) Payments of [
$3 for each $1 of qualifying contributions in excess of the minimum
qualifying contribution amounts; and
A candidate] There
shall [ have] be at least [ one other] two qualified
[ candidate as an opponent for the primary or general election
to receive] candidates
for the same elected office during an election cycle before a candidate may
receive public funds for that election[ .] cycle."
SECTION 8. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that sections 2 and 3 shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019.
Campaign Finance; Income Tax; Public Funding
Allows a taxpayer to indicate on an income tax form a contribution to the Hawaii election campaign fund of up to $20. Amends provisions relating to the ability of publicly-funded candidates to receive and expend campaign funds. (HB1514 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.