THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1416

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to gifts.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that from time to time, legislators accept protocol gifts on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature from foreign officials, federal officers, or state officials from other states. These gifts may symbolize goodwill or strengthen international or national friendships. Failure to accept such a gift may cause embarrassment to the donor and the recipient. These gifts may be small tokens, such as a fountain pen or a gift that a state is famous for, or may be larger gifts, such as a painting, musical instrument, or commemorative plate.

The legislature further finds that unlike the federal government, where several federal offices and agencies abide by a system for the receipt, valuation, and disposition of gifts to the President of the United States, the treatment of protocol gifts accepted by legislators on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature from government officials is not established under state law. Furthermore, since these gifts were not accepted on the legislator's own behalf, these gifts are not required to be reported in the legislator's gifts disclosure statement. Many legislators keep an inventory of these types of protocol gifts they receive in accordance with rules adopted by the state senate or state house of representatives. However, without a uniform set of procedures regarding the custody, inventory, and maintenance of these protocol gifts, gifts may be inadvertently lost, misplaced, or not reasonably maintained.

The purpose of this Act is to establish procedures for the custody, inventory, and care of protocol gifts received by legislators on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature.

SECTION 2. Chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"84-   Protocol gifts; written record; legislators. (a) Upon direct or indirect receipt of a protocol gift of any value on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature, every legislator shall keep a written record of the following:

(1) A description of the protocol gift;

(2) The date on which the protocol gift was received;

(3) The identity of the individual donor, government agency, entity, or organization that gave the gift or on whose behalf the protocol gift was given;

(4) The location where the protocol gift is displayed or stored, if applicable; and

(5) If no longer in the custody of the legislator:

(A) The reason for the disposal and result of the disposition, if any, of the protocol gift; or

(B) The other location where the protocol gift is stored or displayed if custody of the protocol gift is transferred.

Each legislator shall be responsible for maintaining a written record of any protocol gifts received. The written record shall be readily available for inspection upon request.

(b) Each legislator shall exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of any protocol gift in the legislator's possession that is listed on the written record. All protocol gifts listed on the written record shall be the property of the State regardless of whether the legislator who received the protocol gift is in office.

(c) Upon the end of a legislator's term of office, the protocol gifts on the written record may:

(1) Remain with the legislator's office, and the succeeding legislator shall be responsible for exercising reasonable care in the maintenance of the protocol gifts;

(2) Be transferred as a gift to the state archives; or

(3) Be transferred as a gift to the state foundation on culture and the arts.

The incumbent legislator shall transfer the written record to the succeeding legislator, who shall be responsible for maintaining the written record thereafter."

SECTION 3. Section 84-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Protocol gift" means a tangible and nonperishable present tendered to or received by a legislator from an individual donor, government agency, entity, or organization."

SECTION 4. Section 84-11.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) Excluded from the reporting requirements of this section are the following:

(1) Gifts received by will or intestate succession;

(2) Gifts received by way of distribution of any inter vivos or testamentary trust established by a spouse or ancestor;

(3) Gifts from a spouse, fiance, fiancee, or any relative within four degrees of consanguinity, or the spouse, fiance, or fiancee of such a relative. A gift from any such person is a reportable gift if the person is acting as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered by this paragraph;

(4) Political campaign contributions that comply with state law;

(5) Anything available to or distributed to the public generally without regard to the official status of the recipient;

(6) Gifts that, within thirty days after receipt, are returned to the giver or delivered to a public body or to a bona fide educational or charitable organization without the donation being claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes; [and]

(7) Exchanges of approximately equal value on holidays, [birthday,] birthdays, or special occasions[.]; and

(8) Protocol gifts of any value received directly or indirectly by a legislator on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature in accordance with section 84-  ."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Ethics; Protocol Gifts; Written Record; Maintenance

 

Description:

Establishes procedures for the custody, inventory, and care of protocol gifts received by legislators on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.