Hawaii House of Representatives
|Hawaii House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 21, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Joe Souki (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Scott Saiki (D)|
|Minority leader:||Beth Fukumoto (R)|
Democratic Party (44)
Republican Party (7)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Article III of the Hawaii Constitution|
|Salary:||$48,708/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (51 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (51 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Hawaii Reapportionment Commission|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The 51 members of the House are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. The House of Representatives convenes each session on the third Wednesday in January. Regular sessions are limited to a period of 60 working days, which exclude Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and designated recess days.
As of January 2015, Hawaii is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article III of the Hawaii Constitution establishes when the Hawaii State Legislature, which the House of Representatives is a part of, is to be in session. Section 10 of Article III states that the Legislature shall convene in regular session on the third Wednesday in January of every year. Regular sessions are limited to sixty legislative days, but they can be extended by fifteen days by the Governor of Hawaii or by the request of two-thirds of each legislative house. Section 10 mandates that the Legislature take a mandatory recess of at least five days during each regular session.
Section 10 also contains provisions regarding special sessions of the Legislature. Special sessions can involve both houses of the Legislature or the Senate alone. Special sessions can be convened by the Governor of Hawaii or by two-thirds of the house or houses seeking to convene. Special sessions are limited in length. They are not to last more than thirty legislative days, but they, like regular sessions, can be extended for fifteen days.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is in session from January 21 through early May.
Major issues in the 2015 legislative session include the general excise tax, medical marijuana and homelessness.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 15 through May 2.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included GMO labeling, raising the minimum wage, clean energy and climate change.
A budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year was passed through HB1700. The budget provided $6.189 billion in general funds and $12.147 billion in all means of financing. Sylvia Luke, Chairman of the House Finance Committee described the budget as measured and prudent.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 16 to May 3.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included revenue, hotel room tax, GET increase, education funding, and renewable energy tax credits.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 18 to May 3.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from January 19 through May 5.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from January 20th to April 29th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Hawaii state budget
- 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.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Hawaii was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Hawaii received a grade of C and a numerical score of 71, indicating that Hawaii was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Hawaii was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 9, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 3, 2014.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 45||Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto||1.7%||5,166||Jake Bradshaw|
|District 46||Marcus Oshiro||1.7%||5,166||Christopher Murphy|
|District 40||Bob McDermott||2.2%||6,356||Chris Kalani Manabat|
|District 36||Beth Fukumoto||4.9%||10,172||Marilyn Lee|
|District 27||Takashi Ohno||15.1%||8,416||Corinne Ching|
|District 47||Richard Fale||16.1%||7,544||D. Ululani Beirne|
|District 18||Mark Hashem||21.7%||12,016||Jeremy Low|
|District 26||Scott Saiki||21.7%||6,841||Tiffany Au|
|District 41||Rida Cabanilla Arakawa||22.7%||7,060||Adam Reeder|
|District 3||Richard Onishi||24.4%||8,629||Marlene Nachbar Hapai|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 20, 2010, and the primary Election Day was September 18, 2010.
The partisan breakdown of the House before and after the election was as follows:
|Hawaii House of Representatives|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in house campaigns was $3,066,163. The top donors were:
|2010 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$81,950|
|Hawaii State Teachers Association||$27,600|
|Hawaii Carpenters and Joiners||$25,500|
|Hawaii Republican Party||$24,525|
|Electrical Workers Local 1186||$24,500|
|Hawaii Medical Service Association||$24,300|
|Radcliffe, John H||$22,350|
|Operating Engineers Local 3||$22,250|
|Linda Lingle Campaign Cmte||$22,000|
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 20, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,138,933. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$86,300|
|University of Hawaii Professional Assembly||$52,000|
|Choy, Isaac W||$50,000|
|Hawaii State Teachers Association||$45,400|
|Kawananakoa, Quentin Kuhio||$45,000|
|Hawaii Carpenters Local 745||$35,300|
|Hawaii Operating Engineers||$34,734|
|Neil Abercrombie for Congress||$33,000|
|Parayno, Ilalo B||$32,157|
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 23, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,307,255. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|University of Hawaii Professional Assembly||$93,250|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$54,900|
|Hawaii State Teachers Association||$37,025|
|Cassiday Jr, Paul||$34,000|
|Hawaii Republican Party||$33,359|
|Steelquist, John A||$33,107|
|Longshore & Warehouse Local 142||$30,517|
|Alameida, Jeffrey K & Debbie||$29,807|
|Hawaii Carpenters Local 745||$29,400|
|Ironworkers Local 625||$27,700|
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 18, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,772,936. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|University of Hawaii Professional Assembly||$65,250|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$59,500|
|Castle & Cooke||$42,550|
|Longshore & Warehouse Local 142||$38,116|
|Hawaii Optometric Association||$27,250|
|GOP House PAC of Hawaii||$25,700|
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 21, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,361,287. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|University of Hawaii Professional Assembly||$32,853|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$25,790|
|Ching, Corinne Wei Lan||$18,000|
|Longshore & Warehouse Local 142||$16,800|
|Hawaii Insurers Council||$13,000|
|Hawaii State Teachers Association||$10,700|
Elections for the office of Hawaii House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 23, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $1,960,173. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Hawaii House of Representatives|
|Hawaii Association of Realtors||$23,100|
|Republican National State Elections Cmte||$18,000|
|Hawaii State Teachers Association||$16,820|
|Alexander & Baldwin||$16,550|
|Jaffe, Melinda S||$13,609|
|Hawaii Insurers Council||$13,000|
From Article III, Section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution: No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the house of representatives unless the person has been a resident of the State for not less than three years, has attained the age of majority and is, prior to filing nomination papers and thereafter continues to be, a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected; except that in the year of the first general election following reapportionment, but prior to the primary election, an incumbent representative may move to a new district without being disqualified from completing the remainder of the incumbent representative's term.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, the Governor is responsible for appointing a replacement. For all vacancies, the Governor must appoint a replacement within 60 days after the vacancy happened. The candidate is selected from a list of three prospective candidates submitted by the political party that last held the vacant seat. The party has thirty days after the vacancy to submit a list of prospective candidates. If the person leaving the seat is a independent, the Governor must select a resident from the vacant district that is not a member of any political party.
- See also: Redistricting in Hawaii
Redistricting is handled by the nine-member Hawaii Reapportionment Commission.
Hawaii received its local census data on February 22, 2011. Governor Neil Abercrombie suggested that a constitutional amendment be put on the ballot to return Hawaii to multi-member districts, which had not been used since 1981 following a court decision. Though the state Attorney General cleared the path without the need for an amendment, the Commission shot down the idea.
After having its first set of maps struck down by the Hawaii Supreme Court due to the exclusion of some non-residents, the Commission approved the final set of maps on March 8, 2012. A federal lawsuit to these maps was cleared in April, but a federal panel refused to overturn the maps in May, clearing the way for the elections to continue as scheduled even as the court case had yet to be heard.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of January 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum and appointing all committee and subcommittee members.
The 2011 session began on January 19 without Democratic leadership. A rift between old-line and progressive Democrats left members divided over leadership.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Hawaii legislature are paid $46,272/year. Additionally, legislators receive $150/day for per diem for members living outside Oahu during session, and $120/day during the interim while conducting official legislative business. Members living inside Oahu receive $10/day during the interim while conducting legislative business.
When sworn in
Hawaii legislators assume office the first day of Legislative session following the election (usually the third Wednesday of January).
Hawaii House of Representatives has 20 standing committees:
- Agriculture Committee
- Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee
- Economic Revitalization & Business Committee
- Education Committee
- Energy & Environmental Protection Committee
- Finance Committee
- Health Committee
- Higher Education Committee
- Housing Committee
- Human Services Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Labor & Public Employment Committee
- Legislative Management Committee
- Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs
- Public Safety Committee
- Tourism Committee
- Transportation Committee
- Veterans, Military, & International Affairs, & Culture and the Arts
- Water & Land Committee
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Hawaii State house of Representatives. The Hawaii State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years of the study, Hawaii was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 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
- Official website of the Hawaii House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Hawaii House of Representatives
- Majority Caucus website
- Blog of the Hawaii House of Representatives Majority Caucus
- Minority Caucus website
- Blog of the Hawaii House of Representatives Minority Caucus
- Hawaii House Committees
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- "Hawaii Legislature" About the House of Representatives, March 13, 2009
- KHON, "Lawmakers eye taxes, medical marijuana for next legislative session," January 19, 2015
- civilbeat.com, "Legislative Preview 2014: Will Lawmakers Play It Safe in an Election Year?," January 14, 2014
- hawaii247.comm "Legislature passes state 2014-2015 budget," April 29, 2014
- Hawaii News Now, " Lawmakers set stage for legislative session," January 15, 2013
- 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
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Hawaii Office of Elections, "Election Dates, 2012"
- Follow the Money: "Hawaii House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Hawaii 2008 Candidates," accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Hawaii 2006 Candidates," accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Hawaii 2004 Candidates," accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Hawaii 2002 Candidates," accessed July 17, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Hawaii 2000 Candidates," accessed July 17, 2013
- Hawaii Legislature, "Hawaii Revised Statutes," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 17-3(a) (1)-(2))
- Hawaii Legislature, "Hawaii Revised Statutes," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 17-4(a)-(b))
- Star-Advertiser, "Multimember districts being talked up again," May 13, 2011
- Star-Advertiser, "Road to reapportionment," May 22, 2011
- Civil Beat, "Hawaii Reapportionment Challenge Will Get Day in Court," April 10, 2012
- Honolulu Civil Beat, "Elections on Track as Court Rules Against Hawaii Redistricting Suit," May 22, 2012
- Hawaii House Leaders
- The Maui News, "Dems divided, without leader in state House," January 19, 2011
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Hawaii House Committees
State of Hawaii
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