HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

732

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO COMPLAINTS ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF CAMPAIGN SPENDING LAWS.

 

 

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, Regular Session of 2022, to establish the commission to improve standards of conduct. The resolution requests that 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; submit an interim report to the house of representatives outlining areas of immediate and long-term focus; receive input from the public and invited individuals and agencies; and 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.

The legislature notes that the campaign spending commission consists of five staff members and five commissioners who are volunteers in the community and meet once a month in accordance with the State's sunshine laws. Despite only having a few staff and commissioners, the commission regulates over six hundred candidate and noncandidate committees. The legislature believes that this Act will allow the campaign spending commission to timely and efficiently address campaign finance violations, which is especially critical in election years.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to implement recommendations of the commission to improve standards of conduct relating to complaints alleging violations of campaign spending laws.

SECTION 2. Section 11-403, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]11-403[]] Notice of complaint; opportunity to explain or respond to complaint[.]; failure to explain or respond to complaint. (a) The commission shall give notice of receipt of the complaint and a copy of the complaint to the respondent.

(b) The respondent may explain or otherwise respond in writing to the complaint and explain or otherwise respond to the complaint at a meeting promptly noticed by the commission and conducted under chapter 92[.]; provided that if the respondent fails to explain or otherwise respond to the complaint, the commission may treat the failure to explain or respond as a rebuttable presumption that a violation has occurred. The respondent shall have thirty days from the mailing of the complaint to respond before the presumption arises."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct; Campaign Spending Commission Package; Complaints; Campaign Spending Violations; Rebuttable Presumption

 

Description:

Allows the Campaign Spending Commission to treat a respondent's failure to explain or otherwise respond to a complaint alleging a violation of campaign spending laws as a rebuttable presumption that a violation has occurred. Provides that the respondent shall have thirty days from the mailing of the complaint to respond before the presumption arises. (SD1)

 

 

 

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