Laws governing local ballot measures in Hawaii

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Laws Governing Local Ballot Measures

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Laws Governing Ballot Measures
Hawaii Constitution
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All Hawaii counties have an initiative and referendum process for local ballot measures (this includes the consolidated city-county of Honolulu).

This article sets out the laws governing local ballot measures in Hawaii. It explains:

  • Which local units of government make the initiative process available to residents.
  • How and whether local units of government, including school districts, can refer local ballot measures (such as school bond propositions) to the ballot.

Types of local government

There are four local governments in Hawaii. Of these, all four have charters. The only city in Hawaii is Honolulu which is consolidated with the county of Honolulu. The other county governments are Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.[1] There is a fifth county division, Kalawao, without an organized local government.

In addition, there are 17 special districts.[2]

School districts

See also: School bond and tax elections in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of nine states along with the District of Columbia to not have school bond and tax elections. The Hawaii Constitution has a mandated bond issue law in which the Hawaii Legislature approves bond issues for school districts for both public and private schools. The Constitutional requirement also mandates that school districts use special purpose revenue bonds. Under the requirement, the issuer enters into a contract with the seller of the bonds in which they promise to make a good faith effort to pay down the interest and principal of the bonds.

Local recall rules

Hawaii does not have a recall process.

Initiative process availability

An initiative process is available in all four counties for citizens to propose ordinances and charter amendments (including the consolidated city-county of Honolulu). The process requirements are set by the county's respective charter.[3]

Authority

Neither state statutes nor constitutional law explicitly provide an initiative and referendum process to the local level.

Counties are given the right to have home rule under Hawaii Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2 and Chapter 46 of state laws. All powers and limitations are defined in State Statute §46-1.5.[4]

State Statute §50-11 guarantees that all amendments to a county charter must be submitted to a voter referendum, but details are left up to the charter itself.[5]

Each of the 4 counties has adopted initiative provisions for citizens to propose ordinances and charter amendments and all but Honolulu have adopted veto referendum provisions in their respective charters.[6]

Initiative process features

A guide to local ballot initiatives
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Source:Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with
clipboards, conversations, and campaigns

See also

External links

References