Civil Beat Topics

Hawaii Legislature

The Hawaii State Legislature consists of two houses: the Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate has 25 elected members and the House has 51. Senators serve four-year terms while representatives serve two-year terms. Currently, the Democratic Party controls the majority in the Senate and House.

Under the current state constitution, Hawaii’s government is organized into three branches: Executive, Judicial and Legislative.

The Legislature meets on the third Wednesday in January and convenes for 60 work days that excluding the weekends, holidays, and recess days, according to Article III, Section 10 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

The responsibilities of the Legislature include appointing the state auditor, whose office was established to evaluate the performance of state agencies, departments and offices to ensure accountability. The auditor reports its findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature, which often directs the office to make investigations.

Ian Lind: Tightening The Rules For Lobbyists Wikimedia Commons

Ian Lind: Tightening The Rules For Lobbyists

Lobbyists spent millions trying to influence lawmakers last year.

How Ige Plans To Cut $220 Million From His Budget Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Ige Plans To Cut $220 Million From His Budget

Lower tax revenue means less money for state programs and services.

Mainland Students Could Be An ‘Economic Driver’ For Hawaii PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Mainland Students Could Be An ‘Economic Driver’ For Hawaii

Some lawmakers want the University of Hawaii to attract more out-of-state students who pay higher tuition as well as diversify the campuses.

Hawaii Lawmakers May Triple Fines For Speeding, Cell-Phone Use, DUI Courtesy: Lord Jim/Flickr

Hawaii Lawmakers May Triple Fines For Speeding, Cell-Phone Use, DUI

A Senate committee plans to hear six bills Wednesday that would also raise more money for state coffers.

Should Hawaii Spend $2 Billion To Build Homes Residents Can Afford? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Should Hawaii Spend $2 Billion To Build Homes Residents Can Afford?

Hawaii Sen. Will Espero says the time is right for the state to float general obligation bonds to address the housing shortage.

Will This Be The Year For A Styrofoam Ban? Christian Razukas/ Wiki Commons

Will This Be The Year For A Styrofoam Ban?

A Senate bill to ban polystyrene food containers is slated for its first hearing Wednesday.

School Funding Bills Move Forward In Senate Cory Lum/Civil Beat

School Funding Bills Move Forward In Senate

The House Education Committee will wait til next week to decide whether voters should be asked to raise taxes to pay for teachers.

Gun Bills Advance In Hawaii Senate Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gun Bills Advance In Hawaii Senate

Gun rights supporters won and lost on Thursday.

New Report Shows Serious Misconduct Persists At HPD Cory Lum/Civil Beat

New Report Shows Serious Misconduct Persists At HPD

The Honolulu Police Department report comes as lawmakers are debating whether to require that more information on disciplinary actions be made public.

Environmental Council Wants Hawaii To Redefine Success Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Environmental Council Wants Hawaii To Redefine Success

The council is proposing the use of a “genuine progress indicator” to evaluate the state in a way that goes beyond dollars and cents.

Ian Lind: Public Interest Measures Surface At Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Public Interest Measures Surface At Legislature

On balance and when push comes to shove, money talks, and ethics walks.

How A Big Island Family’s Tragedy Is Saving Lives Today Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

How A Big Island Family’s Tragedy Is Saving Lives Today

A couple lost their son in a hiking fall 20 years ago. They turned their grief into a memorial foundation raising money for lifeguards and firefighters.