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
Why Women Lack Power In Hawaii’s Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why Women Lack Power In Hawaii’s Legislature

Men hold most of the leadership positions, setting the agenda and passing legislation.

Late Moves Shake Up Hawaii Races For Governor, Congress Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Late Moves Shake Up Hawaii Races For Governor, Congress

While half of the state legislative seats have just one candidate in the primary, many others will be competitive.

Lobbying On Both Sides Of Medical Aid In Dying Bill Cost More Than $34K Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lobbying On Both Sides Of Medical Aid In Dying Bill Cost More Than $34K

Updated: Opponents spent nearly twice on lobbying and public relations as much as supporters in a failed attempt to derail the measure, according to state reports.

Decision Delayed On Hawaii Legislator’s Alleged Campaign Violations Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Decision Delayed On Hawaii Legislator’s Alleged Campaign Violations

Rep. Kaniela Ing faces more than $15,000 in fines for 31 counts connected to prior campaigns.

Hawaii Congressional Candidate Accused Of Campaign Violations Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Hawaii Congressional Candidate Accused Of Campaign Violations

State Rep. Kaniela Ing says any problems are simply bookkeeping errors.

Lawmakers Outdid Themselves Raising Campaign Cash This Session 401(K) 2012/Flickr

Lawmakers Outdid Themselves Raising Campaign Cash This Session

Fundraisers during the Hawaii legislative session have increased by 88 percent over the past six years.

Slideshow: The Long Goodbyes As Legislature Adjourns Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Slideshow: The Long Goodbyes As Legislature Adjourns

When the gavel fell on the 2018 session, it marked the end of the line for several lawmakers in their current posts.

Why No One Wants To Blow The Whistle On Sexual Misconduct Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why No One Wants To Blow The Whistle On Sexual Misconduct

People who experience sexual harassment at the Hawaii State Capitol fear the consequences if they complain.

Roll Call: Here’s The Best And Worst Attendance Of Legislators This Session Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Roll Call: Here’s The Best And Worst Attendance Of Legislators This Session

A handful of lawmakers missed at least 10 days, but many had perfect attendance.

Chad Blair: The Most Progressive Legislative Session In A Long Time Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chad Blair: The Most Progressive Legislative Session In A Long Time

From approving medical aid in dying to banning certain sunscreens and pesticide chemicals, legislators passed bills they only thought about in years past.

Pesticide Compromise Reached As Conference Committee Time Expires Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Pesticide Compromise Reached As Conference Committee Time Expires

Measures on medical marijuana and all-mail voting are moving forward before the session wraps up next week.

Hawaii Lawmakers Want To Spend $30M On Legal Homeless Encampments Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Lawmakers Want To Spend $30M On Legal Homeless Encampments

Three “ohana zones” would be built on Oahu, and one each on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.