THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1543

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO PUBLIC FINANCING FOR CANDIDATES TO ELECTED OFFICE.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that providing a mechanism to fully fund the elections of candidates for state and county offices who voluntarily agree to abide by campaign fundraising and expenditure guidelines will have significant public benefit. The common belief is that the current campaign finance system used in Hawaii (and most other states) unfairly favors a small handful of wealthy donors who use their donations to buy access to candidates and elected officials. Comprehensive, publicly-funded campaign programs are intended to improve the process by allowing candidates to compete without reliance on private funds and also allowing elected officials to make decisions without the influence, or appearance of influence, of private individuals, lobbyists, political parties, political action committees, unions, corporations, and other entities. Candidates who choose to participate in Hawaii's comprehensive public funding program established by this Act, after obtaining a minimum number of $5 donations from voters, would be barred from soliciting, accepting, or using contributions from any source other than the program's public funds. This restriction on funding would apply during each participating candidate's campaign and, if elected, throughout the candidate's term in office. By demonstrating support from voters in the relevant district, the participating candidate justifies receipt of public funding sufficient to run in a primary and, if successful, general election campaign.

The legislature further finds that public financing of campaigns in some form has existed since the 1970s and was enacted as a response to Watergate. Hawaii became a leader in public funding programs when it added language to the Hawaii State Constitution in 1978 that established the partial public funding program that is still used by candidates. Comprehensive public financing programs, sometimes termed "clean elections," were established in 1996 in Maine and in 1998 in Arizona and have since been adopted in Connecticut and New Mexico.

The legislature further finds that the statewide comprehensive public funding program established by this Act is modeled after the Hawaii county council comprehensive public funding pilot project that disbursed $363,060 in public funds to a total of sixteen candidates in the 2010 and 2012 county council elections within Hawaii county. The statewide program is also guided by Maine's Clean Election Act, which since 2000 has supported legislative and gubernatorial candidates in a state with a population similar to Hawaii. Under Maine's program, a state senate candidate would need to obtain at least one hundred seventy-five qualifying contributions in order to be eligible to receive up to $70,000 in public funds, and a gubernatorial candidate would need at least three thousand two hundred qualifying contributions for up to $3,000,000 in public funds. Comparable levels of public funding will be necessary to ensure that Hawaii's program is practicable for participating candidates. The legislature notes that the annual cost of operating a program to publicly fund candidates dwarfs in comparison to the state budget of several billion dollars. The cost is equally eclipsed by the projected increase in public confidence in the State's candidates and elected officials.

Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Establish a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices in the State of Hawaii, to begin with the 2026 general election year;

(2) Appropriate funds to the Hawaii election campaign fund; and

(3) Appropriate funds from the Hawaii election campaign fund to the campaign spending commission.

SECTION 2. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new subpart to part XIII to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"     . Comprehensive Public Funding for Candidates to

State and County Offices

11-A Definitions. Except for terms that are specifically defined in this subpart, terms that are defined under section 11-302 shall apply to this subpart. When used in this subpart, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

"Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination for election or seeks election to a state or county office in the State.

"Certification for comprehensive public funding" means the decision by the commission that a candidate is certified to receive comprehensive public funding in accordance with this subpart.

"Certified candidate" or "comprehensive publicly-funded candidate" means a candidate who is certified by the commission as eligible for comprehensive public funding under this subpart and who agrees to abide by the requirements of this subpart.

"Declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding" means the form completed by a candidate seeking public funding.

"Excess expenditure" means the amount of public funds spent or obligated to be spent by a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate in excess of one hundred per cent of the allocated funds for a primary election, general election, or both.

"General election" means a general, subsequent special, or subsequent nonpartisan election.

"General election campaign period" means the period beginning the day after the primary election and ending on general election day.

"General election year" means the period commencing January 1 of an even-numbered year in which a general election is held and ending on the general election day.

"Primary election" means a primary, initial special, or initial nonpartisan election.

"Primary election campaign period" means the period in a primary election year beginning with the certification for public funding under this subpart and ending on the primary election day.

"Public funding", "public funds", "comprehensive public funding", or "comprehensive public funds" means campaign funds from the Hawaii election campaign fund under section 11-421 that are received by a certified candidate pursuant to this subpart.

"Qualifying contribution" means a monetary contribution that complies with section 11-E.

"Seed money" means contributions made to a candidate by an individual and expended for the purpose of determining campaign viability in accordance with section 11-D.

"Surplus campaign funds" means any campaign contributions not spent during a prior election period by a candidate who previously sought election as a privately-funded candidate.

11-B Establishment. There is established a comprehensive public funding program for candidates to state and county public offices in the State, beginning with the 2026 general election year.

11-C Qualifications for comprehensive public funding. (a) A candidate is eligible to seek comprehensive public funding for the primary election campaign period if the candidate:

(1) Resides in the respective district from which election is sought as of the date of the filing of nomination papers for the primary election in the general election year in which the candidate seeks to be nominated or elected;

(2) Is a registered voter in the district from which election is sought;

(3) Files a declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding with the commission between December 1 of the year prior to the general election year and thirty days before the closing date to file nomination papers to run for the office for which the candidate intends to seek election;

(4) Collects qualifying contributions and names in accordance with section 11-E;

(5) Accepts, for the office for which the candidate intends to seek election, only the following contributions before applying for certification as a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate:

(A) Seed money contributions, until the candidate files a declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding; and

(B) Qualifying contributions that shall be accepted only after filing the declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding;

(6) Files an application for certification for comprehensive public funding with the commission; and

(7) Agrees to comply with contribution and expenditure restrictions in accordance with section 11-H and with other program requirements, if certified pursuant to this subpart.

(b) A candidate is qualified to seek comprehensive public funding for the general election campaign period if the candidate:

(1) Was certified as a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate during the primary election campaign period immediately preceding the general election in which the funds under this subpart are provided;

(2) Continues to meet the requirements of subsection (a) and this subpart; and

(3) Received a sufficient number of votes to appear on the ballot in the general election or is otherwise certified by the county clerk to be placed on the ballot in the general election.

11-D Seed money contributions; limitations on use of seed money; penalties. (a) The use of seed money shall be limited to expenditures necessary to determine whether sufficient support exists for a candidate to run for office as a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate.

(b) The amount of seed money received, expended, or both, by a candidate seeking eligibility for comprehensive public funding shall not exceed $5,000, which shall include any personal funds, surplus campaign funds, or contributions received from individuals in an aggregate amount no greater than $250 each that the candidate may choose to use. A candidate seeking eligibility for comprehensive public funding shall not accept contributions of seed money from any individual whose contributions are prohibited under subpart E. All contributors whose seed money has been accepted shall be issued a receipt by the candidate.

(c) An individual who uses seed money to determine whether sufficient support exists to run for office as a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate who is not already registered with the commission, within ten days of receiving more than $100 in seed money either from contributions or personal funds, shall register as a candidate by filing the organizational report required by section 11-321.

(d) Seed money shall not be collected after the candidate has filed the declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding. The candidate shall spend seed money only until the candidate is certified by the commission as a comprehensive publicly-funded candidate or the closing date to file nomination papers to run for the office for which the candidate intends to seek election, whichever occurs first.

(e) Any unspent seed money shall be deducted from the amount of comprehensive public funding provided to the certified candidate; provided that the certified candidate does not donate the unspent seed money to the Hawaii election campaign fund.

(f) A certified candidate who has surplus campaign funds from a previous election is prohibited from using those funds for any purpose except as seed money pursuant to this section. The surplus campaign funds shall be frozen and maintained in a separate depository account from that established for the public funds under section 11-J. The candidate shall continue to file reports on the surplus campaign funds in accordance with subpart E, or as may otherwise be required by the commission.

11-E Application for comprehensive public funds; qualifying contributions. (a) Each candidate seeking comprehensive public funding shall submit an application for certification that contains at least the minimum number of qualifying contributions, as specified in subsection (b). Each qualifying contribution shall be a monetary contribution of exactly $5 and in the form of cash, a check, or a money order payable to the Hawaii election campaign fund and signed by the contributor in support of a candidate, or an electronic form of payment made in support of a candidate according to procedures established by the commission. Further, each qualifying contribution shall be accompanied by a form provided by the commission that includes:

(1) The contributor's printed name, address, signature, date of birth, and the contributor's acknowledgement that the contribution was made with the contributor's personal funds and in support of the candidate and was not given in exchange for anything of value; and

(2) The candidate's acknowledgement that the contribution was obtained with the candidate's knowledge and approval and that nothing of value was given in exchange for the contribution. Only registered voters who reside within the respective district from which the candidate seeks nomination or election at the time the contribution is given shall be considered for certification purposes. Nothing of value shall be given to the individual in exchange for the qualifying contribution.

(b) The minimum number of qualifying contributions shall be as follows:

(1) For the office of governor 6,250 qualifying contributions;

(2) For the office of lieutenant governor three thousand qualifying contributions;

(3) For the office of state senator two hundred fifty qualifying contributions;

(4) For the office of state representative one hundred twenty-five qualifying contributions;

(5) For the office of Hawaiian affairs one hundred qualifying contributions;

(6) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more 5,750 qualifying contributions;

(7) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 nine hundred qualifying contributions;

(8) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand but not more than 194,999 one thousand five hundred qualifying contributions;

(9) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand eight hundred seventy-five qualifying contributions;

(10) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more five hundred sixty-three qualifying contributions;

(11) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 one hundred qualifying contributions;

(12) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand but not more than 194,999 qualifying contributions;

(13) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand sixty-three qualifying contributions;

(14) For the office of county council of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more three hundred thirty-eight qualifying contributions;

(15) For the office of county council of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 fifty qualifying contributions

(16) For the office of county council of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand but not more than 194,999 seventy-five qualifying contributions; and

(17) For the office of county council of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand seventy-five qualifying contributions.

(c) No qualifying contribution shall be collected prior to a candidate filing a declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funding with the commission. A contribution received before the filing of a declaration of intent to seek public funds shall not be considered a qualifying contribution.

(d) Any receipt for a qualifying contribution shall be made in a form prescribed by the commission pursuant to section 11-M.

(e) All qualifying contributions collected by a candidate, whether or not the candidate is certified, shall be deposited into the Hawaii election campaign fund.

(f) The application for certification shall be submitted to the commission no later than thirty days before the primary election and shall be signed by the candidate and the candidate's campaign treasurer under penalty of perjury. The application shall contain any other information deemed necessary by the commission.

(g) Use of voter registration information to obtain qualifying contributions and seek comprehensive public funds shall constitute election purposes pursuant to section 11-97 and applicable rules.

11-F Certification of qualification for comprehensive public funds. (a) The commission, in coordination with the clerk for the county that includes the district in which election is sought, shall verify that at least the minimum required qualifying contributions and names were received by the candidate from registered voters in the district in which the candidate seeks office, that the candidate resides in the district in which election is sought as of the date of the filing of nomination papers, and that the candidate is a registered voter in the district in which election is sought. The clerk for the county that includes the district in which election is sought shall provide to the commission the information needed to make the verification, including the names, addresses, dates of birth, and signatures of registered voters in that district.

(b) The commission shall issue a decision to certify or deny certification of a candidate as a comprehensive publicly‑funded candidate within ten business days following receipt of the candidate's completed application for certification for the receipt of comprehensive public funds.

(c) After a candidate is certified, the candidate's certification shall apply to both the primary and the general elections.

(d) The certification and all determinations by the commission under this section shall be final and conclusive, except to the extent that they are subject to examination and audit by the commission under section 11-434.

11-G Comprehensive public funds to be distributed to certified candidates. (a) Each certified candidate who has an opponent in the primary election and an opponent in the general election shall receive the following amounts of public funding, as adjusted pursuant to subsection (d), and distributed at a rate of sixty-seven per cent for the primary election and thirty-three per cent for the general election:

(1) For the office of governor $1,675,000 in the primary, $825,000 in the general, for a maximum of $2,500,000;

(2) For the office of lieutenant governor $804,000 in the primary, $396,000 in the general, for a maximum of $1,200,000;

(3) For the office of state senator $67,000 in the primary, $33,000 in the general, for a maximum of $100,000;

(4) For the office of state representative $33,500 in the primary, $16,500 in the general, for a maximum of $50,000;

(5) For the office of Hawaiian affairs $ in the primary, $ in the general, for a maximum of $40,000;

(6) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more $1,541,000 in the primary, $759,000 in the general, for a maximum of $2,300,000;

(7) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 $241,200 in the primary, $118,800 in the general, for a maximum of $360,000;

(8) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand but not more than 194,999 $402,000 in the primary, $198,000 in the general, for a maximum of $600,000;

(9) For the office of mayor of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand $234,500 in the primary, $115,500 in the general, for a maximum of $350,000;

(10) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more $150,750 in the primary, $74,250 in the general, for a maximum of $225,000;

(11) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 $26,800 in the primary, $13,200 in the general, for a maximum of $40,000;

(12) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand but not more than 194,999 $ in the primary, $ in the general, for a maximum of $ ;

(13) For the office of prosecuting attorney of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand $16,750 in the primary, $8,250 in the general, for a maximum of $25,000;

(14) For the office of county council of a county with a population of five hundred thousand or more $90,450 in the primary, $44,550 in the general, for a maximum of $135,000;

(15) For the office of county council of a county with a population of not less than 195,000 but not more than 499,999 $13,400 in the primary, $6,600 in the general, for a maximum of $20,000;

(16) For the office of county council of a county with a population of not less than one hundred fifty thousand or more and less than 195,000 $20,100 in the primary, $9,900 in the general, for a maximum of $30,000; and

(17) For the office of county council of a county with a population of less than one hundred fifty thousand $20,100 in the primary, $9,900 in the general, for a maximum of $30,000.

Any certified candidate who is unopposed in the primary election shall receive thirty per cent of the primary allotment above, provided that the certified candidate shall have a general election opponent. Certified candidates who are unopposed in the general election shall receive none of the general allotment above.

(b) Upon the certification for comprehensive public funding, the commission shall direct the comptroller to distribute the public funds allowed by this section from the Hawaii election campaign fund by check or, when possible, by an automatic transfer of funds. Public funds for the primary election shall be distributed to the candidate within twenty days from the date that the candidate's initial application and qualifying contribution statement is approved by the commission and, for the general election, within ten days after the date of the primary election.

(c) The commission shall be under no obligation to provide moneys to a certified candidate if moneys in the Hawaii election campaign fund are near depletion as determined by the commission pursuant to section 11-N.

(d) The amounts of public funding specified in subsection (a) shall be adjusted by the commission no later than January 15 of a general election year in accordance with any change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the period ending on December 31 in the year preceding the general election year in which the adjustment is to be made.

11-H Certified candidates; continuing obligation; restrictions; penalties. (a) A certified candidate shall comply with this subpart through the general election campaign period regardless of whether the certified candidate maintains eligibility for public funding in the general election campaign period.

(b) Upon certification for comprehensive public funding and until the end of the general election campaign period, a certified candidate shall not accept for campaign purposes any money except public funds issued by the commission. Contributions and loans from any person and any campaign material purchased or held from a date before filing the declaration of intent to seek comprehensive public funds shall not be accepted.

(c) Upon certification for comprehensive public funding and until the end of the general election campaign period, a certified candidate shall not expend for campaign purposes any money except public funds issued by the commission. Public funds shall be used only for the purpose of defraying expenses directly related to the certified candidate's campaign during the election campaign period for which the public funds are allocated and shall be in compliance with subpart G. A certified candidate receiving funds under this subpart or the candidate's campaign treasurer shall not transfer any portion of the funds provided under this subpart to any other candidate for another campaign. Public funds shall not be expended outside the applicable campaign period.

(d) A certified candidate who is elected to the office sought shall continue to be subject to the contribution and expenditure restrictions of subsections (b) and (c) and shall comply with other provisions of this subpart for the duration of the term in office to which the candidate was elected; provided that if after January 1 of the next general election year an elected certified candidate notifies the commission in writing that the candidate intends to seek office in the next general election and will not apply for comprehensive public funding, the contribution and expenditure restrictions of subsections (b) and (c) shall no longer apply to the candidate concerning the next general election.

(e) If a certified candidate withdraws from seeking the nomination for or from the election, all unexpended public funds received by the candidate under this subpart shall be returned to the Hawaii election campaign fund within thirty days after withdrawal.

(f) A certified candidate who is successful in the primary election may carry over any unexpended public funds to the general election; provided that the certified candidate has an opponent in the general election. If the certified candidate is successful in the general election, the certified candidate shall return all unexpended public funds received by the certified candidate under this subpart to the Hawaii election campaign fund within thirty days after the general election. If the certified candidate does not have an opponent in the general election, the certified candidate shall return all unexpended public funds received by the certified candidate under this subpart to the Hawaii election campaign fund within thirty days after the primary election.

(g) A certified candidate who is not successful in the primary or general election shall return all unexpended public funds received by the certified candidate under this subpart to the Hawaii election campaign fund within thirty days after the election in which the candidate was not successful.

(h) A certified candidate who accepts contributions in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine equal to three times the amount of public funding the candidate received, in addition to any other action, fines, or prosecution under section 11-L and subpart I, or any provision of the Hawaii penal code.

(i) A certified candidate who makes expenditures of more than one hundred per cent of the public funds allocated to the candidate shall repay to the Hawaii election campaign fund an amount equal to three times the excess expenditures.

11-I Comprehensive publicly-funded candidates; reporting. (a) A certified candidate and the certified candidate's committee shall furnish complete campaign records to the commission, including all records of seed money contributions, qualifying contributions, and expenditures. A certified candidate shall fully cooperate with any audit or examination by the commission.

(b) The reporting requirements for certified candidates under this subpart, or as may be required by the commission, shall be in addition to any other reporting requirement under this part.

(c) All reports required by subpart D, seed money reports, and post-election reports shall be filed with the commission.

(d) Seed money reports shall be filed with the commission no later than:

(1) January 31 of a general election year;

(2) April 30 of a general election year; and

(3) Twenty days prior to the primary election.

(e) Each report shall be current through:

(1) The six-month period ending on December 31 for the report filed on January 31;

(2) The three-month period ending on March 31 for the report filed on April 30; and

(3) Thirty days prior to the primary election for the report filed twenty days before the primary election.

(f) The seed money reports shall include:

(1) The candidate committee's name and address;

(2) The amount of cash on hand at the beginning of the reporting period;

(3) The reporting period and aggregate total for each of the following categories:

(A) Contributions;

(B) Expenditures; and

(C) Other receipts; and

(4) The cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.

(g) Schedules filed with the seed money reports shall also include:

(1) The amount and date of deposit of each contribution and the name and address of each contributor who makes contributions aggregating more than $100 in an election period; provided that if all the information is not on file, the contribution shall be returned to the contributor within thirty days of deposit;

(2) All expenditures made, including the name and address of each payee and the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure. Expenditures for consultants, advertising agencies and similar firms, credit card payments, salaries, and candidate reimbursements shall be itemized to permit a reasonable person to determine the ultimate intended recipient of the expenditure and its purpose; and

(3) The amount, date of deposit, and description of other receipts, and the name and address of the source of each of the other receipts.

(h) Post-election reports shall be submitted to the commission no later than twenty days after a primary election and no later than thirty days after a general election, certifying that all public funds paid to the certified candidate have been used as required by this subpart. The reports shall include information regarding all expenditures made, including the name and address of each payee and the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure. Expenditures for consultants, advertising agencies and similar firms, credit card payments, salaries, and candidate reimbursements shall be itemized to permit a reasonable person to determine the ultimate intended recipient of the expenditure and its purpose.

(i) All certified candidates shall file the reports required under this subpart by electronic means in the manner prescribed by the commission.

11-J Deposit of, and access to, public funds. (a) All public funds and seed money received by a certified candidate shall be deposited directly into a depository institution as provided under section 11-351(a) and accessed through the use of debit cards and bank checks. No expenditure of public funds received under this subpart shall be made except by debit cards or checks drawn on such checking account.

(b) All reports required under subpart D and this subpart for financial disclosure shall include the most recent, available bank statement from the financial depository holding the public funds, as attested to by the candidate's committee.

11-K Deposit of money into the Hawaii election campaign fund. The following moneys shall be deposited into the Hawaii election campaign fund established under section 11-421:

(1) Appropriations made by the legislature for the purposes of this subpart;

(2) Excess seed money contributions;

(3) Qualifying contributions, including any excess qualifying contributions of certified candidates;

(4) Unspent public funds distributed to any certified candidate;

(5) Fines levied by the commission for violation of this subpart; and

(6) Voluntary donations made for the purposes of this subpart.

11-L Violations; penalties. Any candidate who knowingly attempts to fraudulently qualify for or receive public funding shall:

(1) Have the candidate's certification for comprehensive public funding revoked. Upon revocation of certification, the certified candidate shall repay all public funds received within ten business days to the Hawaii election campaign fund; and

(2) Be subject to fines and penalties as specifically provided in this subpart and other fines or penalties pursuant to sections 11-410 and 11-412 and the Hawaii penal code.

11-M Forms; receipts; candidate guide and trainings. The campaign spending commission shall create and publish all forms and receipts required to operate the comprehensive public funding program. The commission shall create and publish a candidates' guide to the comprehensive public funding program that shall include an explanation of rules and procedures applicable to candidates and shall be updated annually.

Before the 2026 primary election, the commission shall provide at least four trainings on the program for candidates and other interested individuals.

11-N Sufficiency of funding for the comprehensive public funding program. On September 1 of each odd-numbered year before a general election year, the commission shall determine whether there is a minimum of $30,000,000 in the Hawaii election campaign fund established under section 11-421 to certify candidates during the next election and provide funding for the comprehensive public funding program authorized under this subpart.

Within five business days of the commission's determination, the commission shall publish a notice statewide, pursuant to section 1-28.5, stating whether the comprehensive public funding program shall become effective on January 1 of the following year. If there is insufficient funding, this subpart shall be inoperative for that general election year."

SECTION 3. Section 11-421, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (b) and (c) to read as follows:

"(b) The fund shall consist of:

(1) All moneys collected from persons who have designated a portion of their income tax liability to the fund as provided in section 235-102.5(a);

(2) Any general fund appropriations; [and]

(3) All moneys designated for deposit into the fund pursuant to section 11-K; and

[(3)] (4) Other moneys collected pursuant to this part.

(c) Moneys in the fund shall be paid to candidates by the comptroller as prescribed in [section] sections 11-431 and 11-G and may be used for the commission's operating expenses, including staff salaries and fringe benefits."

SECTION 4. The campaign spending commission shall submit a progress report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than forty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2026 on any statutory amendments that may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of this Act.

SECTION 5. The campaign spending commission shall submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than forty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2028 on any statutory amendments that may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of this Act.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 for deposit into the Hawaii election campaign fund established under section 11-421, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the campaign spending commission for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. There is appropriated out of the Hawaii election campaign fund established under section 11-421, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 in preparing for the comprehensive public funding of candidates in elections taking place in 2026, including the hiring of two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) temporary positions.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the campaign spending commission for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 8. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect on March 22, 2075.


 


 

Report Title:

Comprehensive Public Funding; Campaign Spending Commission; Report; Appropriations

 

Description:

Establishes a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices in the State of Hawaii, to begin with the 2026 general election year. Requires the Campaign Spending Commission to submit a progress and final report to the Legislature. Appropriates funds. Takes effect 03/22/2075. (SD2)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.