Hawaii Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs contains the Division of Insurance; as such, the director supervises and appoints the Hawaii Commissioner of Insurance and has ultimate responsibility for regulation of the state's insurance industry.
The current Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is Keali'i Lopez, who was appointed by incoming Governor Neil Abercrombie on December 4, 2010 and confirmed by the Hawaii Senate in February 2011. As Lopez serves a term contemporaneous with that of the governor, her term will end in December 2014.
Before becoming director, Lopez was president and CEO of Olelo Community Media. Previously, she developed the distance education program of Kamehameha Schools and worked to develop a statewide communications infrastructure with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commissioner. Lopez holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Hawaii and Manoa.
The office of director is established by state law.
Hawaii Revised Statutes, 26-9
(a) The department of commerce and consumer affairs shall be headed by a single executive to be known as the director of commerce and consumer affairs.
Like all state "principal department" heads, the director must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Hawaii for at least a year before his appointment.
Every officer appointed under the provisions of this section shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have been a resident of this State for at least one year immediately preceding that person's appointment, except that this residency requirement shall not apply to the president of the University of Hawaii.
As the head of a principal executive department, the director is appointed by the governor with the consent of the Hawaii Senate. The appointee holds office for a term concurrent with that of the governor, who may also remove him from office at any time.
Each principal department shall be under the supervision of the governor and, unless otherwise provided in this constitution or by law, shall be headed by a single executive. Such single executive shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor. That person shall hold office for a term to expire at the end of the term for which the governor was elected, unless sooner removed by the governor; except that the removal of the chief legal officer of the State shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate.
There are no term limits associated with the office of director of finance.
If a vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement with the consent of the state Senate. If the Senate is out of session when the vacancy occurs, the governor may appoint a temporary replacement to exercise the powers of attorney general until the legislature reconvenes. Details of vacancy appointments for cabinet-level state executive officers are laid out in Article V, Section 6 of the Hawaii Constitution.
The director oversees the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Hawaii agency concerned with the registration and regulation of business in the state. The department also performs various duties related to consumer advocacy and protection and licenses various professions and vocations. The department's divisions of cable television, financial institutions and insurance have specific regulatory responsibility for those industries.
- Office of Administrative Hearings
- Business Registration
- Securities Compliance
- Securities Enforcement
- Cable Television
- Consumer Advocacy
- Consumer Protection
- Financial Institutions
- Captive Insurance
- Professional and Vocational Licensing
- Real Estate
- Regulated Industries Complaints
- Consumer Resource Center
- State Certified Arbitration Program
In 2010, the director received a salary of $108,972.
335 Merchant Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 587-1234
- ↑ Hawaii Reporter, "Governor-Elect Abercrombie Announces Cabinet Appointees," December 4, 2010.
- ↑ Hawaii Revised Statutes, "26-9," accessed September 26, 2011.
- ↑ Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, "Overview/Services," accessed September 26, 2011.
- ↑ The Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2010 -- Table 4.11," accessed September 26, 2011.