THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1557

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO GIFTS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that from time to time, legislators accept protocol gifts on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature from foreign officials, federal officers, or state officials from other states. These gifts may symbolize goodwill or strengthen international or national friendships. Failure to accept such a gift may cause embarrassment to the donor and the recipient. These gifts may be small tokens, such as a fountain pen or a gift that a state is famous for, or may be larger gifts, such as a painting, musical instrument, or commemorative plate.

The legislature further finds that unlike the federal government, where several federal offices and agencies abide by a system for the receipt, valuation, and disposition of gifts to the President of the United States, the treatment of protocol gifts accepted by legislators on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature from government officials is not established under state law. Furthermore, since these gifts were not accepted on the legislator's own behalf, these gifts are not required to be reported in the legislator's gifts disclosure statement. Many legislators keep an inventory of these types of protocol gifts they receive in accordance with rules adopted by the state senate or state house of representatives. However, without a uniform set of procedures regarding the custody, inventory, and maintenance of these protocol gifts, gifts may be inadvertently lost, misplaced, or not reasonably maintained.

Furthermore, because these gifts are not accepted on the elected official's or state employee's own behalf, these gifts may not be required to be reported under the gifts disclosure law of the state ethics code. Many elected officials and state employees keep an inventory of protocol gifts they receive in accordance with rules adopted by their respective agencies. However, without a uniform set of procedures regarding the custody, inventory, and maintenance of these protocol gifts, gifts may be inadvertently lost, misplaced, or not reasonably maintained. It is in the best interest of the State and its people that these protocol gifts be cataloged and organized in order to preserve the symbolic relationships behind the gifting, along with the legacy of the state employees or legislators that forged those bonds of friendship. When doing so, these protocol gifts may be occasionally displayed and enjoyed by future delegations, state employees, legislators, and the people of Hawaii as a way of honoring and remembering those who initially participated in the gift exchange.

The purpose of this Act is to establish procedures for the custody, inventory, and care of protocol gifts received by legislators on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature.

SECTION 2. Chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"84-   Protocol gifts; written record; legislators. (a) A legislator or employee shall report to the state archives any protocol gift received by the legislator or employee within thirty days of receipt. The report shall be in the form provided by the state archives, which shall include the following:

(1) A description of the protocol gift;

(2) The date on which the protocol gift was received;

(3) The identity of the individual donor, government agency, entity, or organization that gave the gift or on whose behalf the protocol gift was given; and

(4) The location of the protocol gift, or if the gift was transferred to the state archives, the date of the transfer.

(b) Each recipient of a protocol gift shall be responsible for maintaining a written record for any protocol gift received. The written record shall be readily available for public inspection upon request.

(c) Each recipient of a protocol gift shall exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of any protocol gift while in the recipient's possession. All protocol gifts listed on the written record shall be the property of the State regardless of whether the recipient who received the protocol gift is currently in office or employed by the State.

(d) The recipient of the protocol gift is encouraged to display the protocol gift in their office but may transfer the gift to the state archives at any time. Upon leaving the position held when the protocol gift was received, the recipient may:

(1) Update the registered location of the gift on the protocol gift form if moving to a new position within the State and submit the update to the archives within thirty days of the move;

(2) Transfer the protocol gift to their position's successor by updating the protocol gift form indicating the new custodian within thirty days of the transfer; or

(3) Transfer the protocol gift to the state archives prior to leaving the position."

SECTION 3. Section 84-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Protocol gift" means a tangible and nonperishable present tendered to or received by a legislator or employee on behalf of the State or either house of the legislature from an individual donor, a government agency, an entity, or an organization, including a foreign official, federal officer, state official from another state, or other representative of a government agency, an entity, or an organization, as a gesture of goodwill and friendship between the institution of the gifter and the State or a house of the legislature."

SECTION 4. Section 84-11.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) [Excluded] The following are excluded from the reporting requirements of this section [are the following]:

(1) Gifts received by will or intestate succession;

(2) Gifts received by way of distribution of any inter vivos or testamentary trust established by a spouse or ancestor;

(3) Gifts from a spouse, fiance, fiancee, any relative within four degrees of consanguinity or the spouse, fiance, or fiancee of such a relative. A gift from any such person is a reportable gift if the person is acting as an agent or intermediary for any person not covered by this paragraph;

(4) Political campaign contributions that comply with state law;

(5) Anything available to or distributed to the public generally without regard to the official status of the recipient;

(6) [Gifts] Non-protocol gifts that, within thirty days after receipt, are returned to the giver or delivered to a public body or to a bona fide educational or charitable organization without the donation being claimed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes; [and]

(7) Protocol gifts; and

[(7)] (8) Exchanges of approximately equal value on holidays, [birthday,] birthdays, or special occasions."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2112.


 


 

Report Title:

Protocol Gifts; Written Record; Transfer of Gifts

 

Description:

Establishes procedures for the custody, inventory, and care of protocol gifts received by members of either house of the Legislature or state employees. Effective 7/1/2112. (SD1)

 

 

 

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