HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

710

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to government.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the house of representatives adopted House Resolution No. 9 (2022) to establish the commission to improve standards of conduct. The resolution requests the commission ensure state laws and rules relating to standards of conduct of public officers and employees contain clear standards, enforcement, and penalties and provide recommendations to increase awareness of, compliance with, and deterrent effects of the code of ethics, lobbying laws, campaign finance laws, and other relevant laws and rules.

Pursuant to House Resolution No. 9, the commission to improve standards of conduct convened regularly throughout 2022 to diligently review, discuss, and consider the issues presented, submitted an interim report to the house of representatives outlining areas of immediate and long-term focus, then continued its work with input from the public and invited individuals and agencies to issue a final report with various recommendations and accompanying proposed legislation.

The legislature also finds that the strength and stability of our democratic government rely upon the public's trust in government institutions, including the expectation that officers act ethically with prudence, integrity, and sound judgement. Therefore, an essential goal of the Commission was to provide recommendations that would help restore public trust in state government and increase the level of transparency in its operations and accountability of individuals.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to implement recommendations of the commission to improve standards of conduct relating to using or making false statements or entries in matters within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the State, or any county. This Act also disqualifies a person from holding elected public office for a period of ten years upon conviction of making such false statements or entries. This Act is patterned after the federal "false statements" statute, title 18 United States Code section 1001, and therefore, the courts of the State and counsel should look to federal caselaw and precedent for direction.

SECTION 2. Chapter 710, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"710-    Using or making false statements or entries; generally. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person commits the offense of using or making false statements or entries if, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the State, or any county, the person knowingly and wilfully:

(a) Falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact by any trick, scheme, or device;

(b) Makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(c) Makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the writing or document contains any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.

(2) Application of this section shall be based on title 18 United States Code section 1001 and any relevant federal case law and precedent.

(3) Using or making false statements or entries is a class C felony. A person convicted of violating this section shall not be eligible for a deferred acceptance of guilty plea or nolo contendere plea under chapter 853.

(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements, representations, writings, or documents submitted by the party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.

(5) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislature, subsection (1) shall apply only to:

(a) Administrative matters, including:

(i) A claim for payment;

(ii) A matter related to the procurement of property or services;

(iii) Personnel or employment practices;

(iv) Support services; or

(v) A document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the legislature or any office or officer within the legislature; or

(b) Any investigation or review conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission, or office of the legislature, consistent with applicable rules of the senate or house of representatives."

SECTION 3. Section 11-412, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) A person who is convicted under this section, or for using or making a false statement or entry under section 710-   , shall be disqualified from holding elective public office for a period of ten years from the date of conviction."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

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

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________


 


 

Report Title:

Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct; Penal Code; False Statements or Entries; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches; Counties; Disqualification; Elective Public Office; Conviction

 

Description:

Establishes the class C felony offense of using or making false statements or entries in matters within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the State, or any county. Disqualifies a person from holding elective public office for a period of ten years upon conviction of making a false statement or entry.

 

 

 

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