STAND. COM. REP. NO. 729
RE: S.B. No. 597
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 597, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to allow candidates seeking election to use campaign funds for child and vital household dependent care costs under certain conditions.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Common Cause Hawaii, AAUW of Hawaii, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Campaign Spending Commission.
Your Committee finds that parenthood and care for a candidate's dependents can be an unnecessary and unjust barrier to political office. A potential solution to this problem is to allow candidates for elected office to use campaign funds to defray the expensive costs of a candidate's child care or dependent family care. Your Committee further finds that a growing number of candidates and good governance organizations are pushing state legislatures and elections commissions to adopt similar proposals because it would encourage more women and low-income candidates to run for public office by clearing a restrictive financial barrier for parents and caregivers.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that a child for which care costs may be paid with campaign funds be under the age of twelve; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment 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 S.B. No. 597, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 597, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair