STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1434
RE: S.B. No. 1543
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 1543, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC FINANCING FOR CANDIDATES TO ELECTED OFFICE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Establish a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices in the State, to begin with the 2026 general election;
(2) Appropriate funds to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund; and
(3) Appropriate funds from the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund to the Campaign Spending Commission.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct; Campaign Spending Commission; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; HULI PAC; Our Hawai‘i; Clean Elections Hawai‘i Coalition; Hope Services Hawai‘i, Inc.; Holomua Collaborative; Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island, Inc.; Common Cause Hawaii; Kauai Women's Caucus; Malama Makua; 350Hawaii.org; Free Access Coalition; Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action; Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Pono Hawaii Initiative; Americans for Democratic Action Hawai‘i; Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Education Caucus; Imua Alliance; Chamber of Sustainable Commerce; Indivisible Hawaii; and numerous individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from two individuals.
Your Committee finds that establishing a comprehensive system of public financing will bolster the State's publicly-funded elections thereby relieving candidates of the need to rely upon the support of private funds from special interest groups or wealthy donors.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Amending the minimum number of qualifying contributions for:
(A) The office of state senator to four hundred qualifying contributions; and
(B) The office of state representative, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and offices of prosecuting attorney and county council of counties with a population of less than five hundred thousand to two hundred qualifying contributions; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1543, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1543, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs,
DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair