STAND. COM. REP. NO. 97
RE: S.B. No. 981
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 981 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Change the maximum amount of public funds available to each candidate running for election to the office of State Senator, State Representative, County Council, and the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to an unspecified percent of the expenditure limit established for each election; and
(2) Increase the amount each candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidate must raise to qualify for public funds.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Common Cause Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that candidates running for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs who voluntarily agree to participate in the partial public funding program run statewide campaigns yet they are provided substantially less partial public funding than other statewide candidates. This measure will increase the partial public funding expenditure limit and maximum amount of public funds available for candidates for the Board of Trustees.
Your Committee notes that S.B. No. 238 (Regular Session of 2021), which was previously passed by the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee, also relates to election requirements for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Under existing law, names of candidates for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are placed on the ballot in alphabetical order to ensure that all candidates are properly listed, which corresponds to the voting position for the vote counting system. To mitigate any advantage that may arise from the order of candidate names on the ballot, S.B. No. 238 requires that the names of candidates for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs be randomized on individualized ballots. Your Committee believes that elections should be transparent, inclusive, and accountable, and there must be equitable opportunities to compete in the elections for the Board of Trustees.
Therefore, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adding the contents of S.B. No. 238, S.D. 1; 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 Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 981, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 981, 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 Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair