Calvin Say

| Suggest an Edit

Rep. Calvin Say is speaker emeritus of the Hawaii House of Representatives. He served as speaker from 1999 until January 2013, the longest tenure for a House Speaker in state history. Say was also the first Chinese American to serve in the position.

He was re-elected to his seat in the 2012 general election after receiving 55 percent of the vote against Keiko Bonk and Julia Allen.

Shortly before the Legislature convened in January 2013, Maui Rep. Joe Souki gathered enough votes to replace Say as House speaker.

Say had narrowly held on to the speakership in the years prior as well. For example, when the Legislature convened in January 2011, it was uncertain that Say would continue as speaker. He was short of the votes necessary to ensure another two-year term, because some Democrats desired fresh leadership.

But on the day the Legislature opened, he was re-elected by all 50 of his colleagues, including eight Republicans, to the position.
His tenure has not been without controversy, however.

During the 2010 legislative session, Say drew heat from supporters of House Bill 444, the Hawaii civil unions bill, and public worker unions. He failed to call the House for a special session to potentially override the ruling of HB 444 and did not support tax increases to increase the wages and benefit of the unions.

Say has also faced allegations that he does not live in the district he represents. He has generally prevailed in court cases challenging his residency, with the judge ruling that it is up to House leaders to deal with the matter. In 2015, House leadership rejected the allegations that he did not live in his district for purposes of representing the area.

Say represents the 20th House district, which includes St. Louis Heights, Palolo Valley, Maunalani Heights, Wilhemina Rise and Kaimuki.

He graduated from Saint Louis School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Calvin Say
How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

UPDATED State ethics director Les Kondo may be under fire, but he seems to have gotten their attention. A review of this year's spending shows legislators are much less inclined to spend public money on questionable expenses.
Seven Reps Break From Session’s Final Days to Raise Some Cash flickr:AMagill

Seven Reps Break From Session’s Final Days to Raise Some Cash

The members of the Hawaii House of Representatives teamed up for an event at a Honolulu restaurant.
Hawaii Senate Panel to Review Galuteria’s Qualifications Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate Panel to Review Galuteria’s Qualifications

Once again, a state lawmaker is being questioned about whether he really lives in the district he represents.
Hawaii House Is A-OK With Calvin Say Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii House Is A-OK With Calvin Say

Representatives voted unanimously to adopt a report saying the speaker emeritus meets residency requirements.
Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

Special Committee Finds Rep. Say Qualified to Continue Serving

The challenge over his residency wrapped up in a five-minute hearing Friday.
House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House Lawmakers to Make Recommendation Friday on Rep’s Residency

A group of voters has questioned whether Speaker emeritus Calvin Say lives in the district he represents.
Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Challenge Over Rep. Say’s Residency Forces House to Make ‘Judgment Call’

The speaker emeritus faced his colleagues in a quasi-judicial hearing, the first of its kind in Hawaii.
Hearing on Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency Set for Friday Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hearing on Hawaii Rep. Calvin Say’s Residency Set for Friday

House lawmakers are planning to consider a petition challenging the longtime lawmaker's right to represent District 20.
Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Where Does Hawaii State Rep. Calvin Say Really Live?

A group of six House lawmakers are going to look into residency questions concerning the speaker emeritus.
Calvin Say Challengers Ask Souki for Action PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Calvin Say Challengers Ask Souki for Action

The Hawaii House speaker is urged again to review the former speaker's residency qualifications.
Campaign Spending Commission Rejects Calvin Say Challenge Hawaii House of Representatives

Campaign Spending Commission Rejects Calvin Say Challenge

A review finds that it's legal for the former Hawaii House speaker to use campaign funds to pay for his legal fees.
House Speaker Unveils Leadership Positions, Committee Chairs Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

House Speaker Unveils Leadership Positions, Committee Chairs

Luke retains control of Finance; Rhoads keeps Judiciary; Tsuji takes control of Agriculture.