Governor of Hawaii
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013-2014 FY Budget:||$4,335,171|
|Term limits:||2 consecutive terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Hawaii Constitution, Article V, Section 1|
|Assumed office:||December 1, 2014|
|Next election:||November 6, 2018|
|Last election:||November 4, 2014|
|Other Hawaii Executive Offices|
|Governor•Lieutenant Governor•Attorney General•Director of Finance•Auditor•Superintendent of Education•Agriculture Commissioner•Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs•Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources•Director of Labor and Industrial Relations•Public Utilities Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 History
- 11 Historical officeholders
- 12 State profile
- 13 Recent news
- 14 Contact information
- 15 See also
- 16 External links
- 17 References
As of April 2015, Hawaii is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.
The 8th and current governor of Hawaii is David Ige (D). He was first elected in November 2014 and sworn in on December 1, 2014. Ige replaced Neil Abercrombie (D) during a swearing-in ceremony on December 1, 2014. Prior to his inauguration, Ige was a member of the Hawaii State Senate from 1994 to 2014.
The executive power of the State shall be vested in a governor.
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
A governor is:
- required to be at least 30 years old,
- required to have been a resident of Hawaii for five consecutive years previous to election,
- barred from other professions or paid positions during the term.
No person shall be eligible for the office of governor unless the person shall be a qualified voter, have attained the age of thirty years and have been a resident of this State for five years immediately preceding the person's election.
The governor shall not hold any other office or employment of profit under the State or the United States during the governor's term of office. '
Hawaii elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Hawaii, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years.
Hawaii's governor is not only the youngest chief executive's office in the United States, by date, it is tied with Alaska as the earliest inaugural date in the nation. The inauguration is always held at noon on the first Monday in December following an election.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Hawaii governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.
|No person shall be elected to the office of governor for more than two consecutive full terms.|
- See also: Hawaii Gubernatorial election, 2014
|Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, 2014|
|Democratic||David Ige/Shan Tsutsui||49.5%||181,065|
|Republican||Duke Aiona/Elwin Ahu||37.1%||135,742|
|Independent||Mufi Hannemann/Les Chang||11.7%||42,925|
|Libertarian||Jeff Davis/Cindy Marlin||1.7%||6,393|
|Election Results via Hawaii Office of Elections.|
To view the electoral history dating back to 2002 for the office of Governor/Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Click [show] to expand the section.
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
The Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii becomes acting governor upon the governor's absence from the state or disability from discharging duties, either temporarily or permanently.
Unlike all but two other states in the union (Tennessee and New Jersey), the only elected state office in Hawaii is the governor. In keeping with his unusual stature, the governor has a wide-reaching authority stronger than many other governors in the U.S. The administrative powers of the Hawaii executive are more centralized than that of most other states with little authority devolved to the county, and unlike other states there are no local school districts.
It is because of this central authority that the governor is locally considered one of the most powerful governors in the United States. The governorship of Hawaii has often been characterized by the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and various other local media as an "elected monarchy" referring to the most current governors as "King Ben" and "Queen Linda" in headlines during their tenures. Included within the governor's sphere of jurisdiction is the power to appoint all judges of the various courts within the Hawaii judicial system, subject to the approval of the Hawaii Senate.
The governor is responsible for enforcing laws passed by the Hawaii State Legislature and upholding rulings of the state judiciary. He is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Hawaii and has the power to use them to execute laws, suppress insurrection and violence and repel invasion. The governor is the chief executive of the State of Hawaii and its various agencies and departments, as provided for in the Hawaii Constitution, Article V, Sections 1 through 6.
The state of Hawaii does not have fixed cabinet positions and departments. By law, the governor has the power to create his or her cabinet and departments as needed as long as the executive department is composed of no more than 20 bodies and cabinet members. He is also empowered to remove cabinet officers at will, with the exception of the Attorney General of Hawaii, who must be removed by an act of the Hawaii State Senate.
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Issuing pardons, reprieves, commutations and forgiving fines and forfeitures. With legislative approval, the governor may also grants pardons for impeachment and restore civil rights suspended subsequent to a conviction from another state.
- Appointing an administrative director who serves at the governor's pleasure.
- Executive Administration
- Constituent Services
- Boards & Commissions
- Washington Place
- Office of Collective Bargaining
Role in state budget
- See also: Hawaii state budget and finances
- Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in July or August of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor by September.
- Agency hearings are held in November.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in December.
- In April and May the legislature debates the budget. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
The governor is required by law to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. Though the legislature is not required to pass a balanced budget, the budget must to balanced for the governor to sign it into law.
Governor's office budget
The Office of Governor's budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 was $4,335,171. Fiscal year 2014-2015 will be $3,468,599.
The salaries of elected and appointed executives in Hawaii are determined by the Hawaii Commission on Salaries, which was established by constitutional amendment in 2006. Passage of this amendment by the public added the following language to Article XVI of the state constitution:
| Text of Section 3.5:
There shall be a commission on salaries as provided by law, which shall review and recommend salaries for the justices and judges of all state courts, members of the legislature, department heads or executive officers of the executive departments and the deputies or assistants to department heads of the executive departments as provided by law, excluding the University of Hawaii and the department of education. The commission shall also review and make recommendations for the salary of the administrative director of the State or equivalent position and the salary of the governor and the lieutenant governor.
Any salary established pursuant to this section shall not be decreased during a term of office, unless by general law applying to all salaried officers of the State.
Not later than the fortieth legislative day of the 2007 regular legislative session and every six years thereafter, the commission shall submit to the legislature its recommendations and then dissolve.
The recommended salaries submitted shall become effective as provided in the recommendation, unless the legislature disapproves the entire recommendation as a whole by adoption of a concurrent resolution prior to adjournment sine die of the legislative session in which the recommendation is submitted; provided that any change in salary which becomes effective shall not apply to the legislature to which the recommendation for the change in salary was submitted.
The commission consists of seven members selected by the governor (two seats), the President of the Hawaii State Senate (two seats), Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives (two seats) and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court (one seat). Commissioners meet every six years to evaluate salaries for executive, judicial and legislative officials. Their recommendations go into effect unless the Hawaii State Legislature votes to reject the entirety of the commission's final report. The commission last met in November 2012 and made recommendations for official salaries between 2013 and 2018.
In 2010, the governor was paid $117,312 a year, the 31st highest gubernatorial salary in America.
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, Hawaii had Democratic governors in office for 14 years while there were Republican governors in office for eight years. During the final three years of the study, Hawaii was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Hawaii state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Hawaii has never had a Republican trifecta, but has had a Democratic trifecta between the years 1992 and 2002, and again beginning in 2011. The interruption of these two periods came in 2003 with a Republican governor. The state’s highest SQLI ranking (11th) came in 1993 under a Democratic trifecta, while Hawaii’s lowest SQLI ranking (39th) in 1999 and 2001, also under a Democratic trifecta. The state saw a precipitous decline in its ranking between 1994 and 1995, falling thirteen spots from 15th to 28th. Between 1996 and 1997, the state recovered in its SQLI ranking by nine spots before dropping to a new low (39th) in 1999.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 29.46
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 33.88
There have been seven governors since 1957. Of the seven officeholders, two were Republican and five were Democratic.
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||William F. Quinn||August 21, 1959||1962||Republican|
|2||John A. Burns||1962||1974||Democratic|
|3||George R. Ariyoshi||1974||1986||Democratic|
Hawaii's population in 2014 was 1,419,561 according to the United States Census Bureau. This estimate represented a 4.4 percent increase from the bureau's 2010 estimate. The state's population per square mile was 211.8 in 2010, exceeding the national average of 87.4.
Hawaii experienced a 1.3 percent increase in total employment from 2011 to 2012 based on census data, falling below the 2.2 percent increase at the national level during the same period.
Hawaii exceeded the national average for residents who attained at least bachelor's degrees based on census data from 2009 to 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 30.1 percent of Hawaii residents aged 25 years and older attained bachelor's degrees compared to 28.8 percent at the national level.
The median household income in Hawaii was $67,402 between 2009 and 2013 compared to a $53,046 national median income. Census information showed a 10.8 percent poverty rate in Hawaii during the study period compared to a 14.5 percent national poverty rate.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Governor Hawaii."
- Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0221 or (808) 586-0222
Fax: (808) 586-0019
Phone: 808 586-0034
Fax: 808 586-0006
- Honolulu Civil Beat, "Hawaii Gov. David Ige's Inauguration Speech (FULL TEXT)," December 1, 2014
- The Honolulu Advertiser, "Powers proposed for Lingle in war," January 29, 2003
- Office of the Governor of Hawaii, "Staff and Cabinet," accessed September 19, 2011
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Hawaii State Legislature, "H.B. No. 200 Fiscal Biennium 2013-2015," accesseed June 28, 2013
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Cite error: Invalid
- Commission on Salaries, "Report and Recommendations to the 2013 Legislature," March 18, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 14, 2014
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governors Association, "Hawaii: Past Governors Bios," accessed August 4, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "QuickFacts Beta," accessed March 24, 2015
- Hawaii Office of Elections, "Election Results," accessed April 14, 2015
- The American Presidency Project, "Presidential Elections Data," accessed March 24, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
State of Hawaii
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Director of Finance | State Auditor | Superintendent of Education | Hawaii Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs | Commissioner of Agriculture | Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources | Director of Labor and Industrial Relations | Chair of Public Utilities |