Hawaii Legislature

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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.

Hawaii Legislature
County Mayors: We Want More Power To Tax Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

County Mayors: We Want More Power To Tax

They also want a larger share of the state hotel tax revenues and immunity for lifeguards at state beaches.

Here’s How Climate Change Is Already Threatening Hawaii Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Here’s How Climate Change Is Already Threatening Hawaii

We’ve seen flooded streets and washed out beaches, but even the birds, the animals and the forests are being affected by global warming.

Legislature Convenes Amid Buzz Over False Missile Alert Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Legislature Convenes Amid Buzz Over False Missile Alert

UPDATED: Lawmakers highlight housing and education priorities while addressing public concerns over the Saturday panic.

8 Tips That Will Help You Get Involved In The Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

8 Tips That Will Help You Get Involved In The Legislature

Save this guide to everything from decoding political jargon to signing up for automatic email alerts.

What We’ll Be Watching At The Hawaii Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

What We’ll Be Watching At The Hawaii Legislature

How will new leadership roles, consolidated power, differing priorities — all in an election year — affect the public’s business?

Lawmakers, Health Officials Point To Each Other For Cesspool Answers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmakers, Health Officials Point To Each Other For Cesspool Answers

Hawaii leaders have no idea what to do about a environmental problem that could cost billions of dollars to fix.

Hawaii Health Programs Brace For Federal Budget Cuts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Health Programs Brace For Federal Budget Cuts

President Trump’s budget proposal to Congress calls for at least $6.2 million in cuts to health programs in the islands.

Hawaii Is Still Waiting For An Audit Of Police Property Seizures Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Is Still Waiting For An Audit Of Police Property Seizures

A report that was due before the 2017 legislative session is now expected sometime during the 2018 session.

Economists: Financial Challenges Are Looming For Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Economists: Financial Challenges Are Looming For Hawaii

Economists caution legislators about the housing shortage, the possibility of lower tax revenue and reduced tourist spending.

‘From Bad To Worse:’ Hawaii’s $1.75 Billion Cesspool Problem Courtesy: Teresa Dawson

‘From Bad To Worse:’ Hawaii’s $1.75 Billion Cesspool Problem

The risks posed by the state’s 88,000 remaining cesspools will likely be amplified by climate change.

4 Hawaii Lawmakers Have Received Sexual Misconduct Complaints Since 2008 Cory Lum/Civil Beat

4 Hawaii Lawmakers Have Received Sexual Misconduct Complaints Since 2008

But the Legislature says state law requires it to withhold the names of the three House members and one senator.

Ige Seeks $1.5 Billion Budget Hike For Infrastructure, Capital Improvements Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Ige Seeks $1.5 Billion Budget Hike For Infrastructure, Capital Improvements

The Legislature will consider approving the governor’s supplemental spending request when lawmakers reconvene next year.