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
Counties: ‘We Got Screwed’ By The Legislature On Lifeguard Protection Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Counties: ‘We Got Screwed’ By The Legislature On Lifeguard Protection

Council members, mayors and others remain frustrated by the influence a group of personal injury lawyers had on the decision.

Lawmakers Must Make Good On Deal To Raise Foster Parent Fees Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Lawmakers Must Make Good On Deal To Raise Foster Parent Fees

It’s not too late. The issue could be part of a special session on rail funding that could happen later this summer.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Gets A New Member — For Now Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Gets A New Member — For Now

The governor has found a new member to serve after the Senate rejected his last choice.

Schools Poised To Receive Millions In ‘Green Energy’ Loans istock.com

Schools Poised To Receive Millions In ‘Green Energy’ Loans

The “cool schools” initiative made it through the Legislature and is awaiting action by Gov. David Ige.

Saiki: New House Leadership Is ‘The Face Of Hawaii’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Saiki: New House Leadership Is ‘The Face Of Hawaii’

After end-of-session shakeup, Hawaii’s new House speaker brings in millennials, women and neighbor islanders to help lead the chamber.

Hawaii’s Inaction On Replacing Jail Is A Victory For Justice Reformers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii’s Inaction On Replacing Jail Is A Victory For Justice Reformers

The failure by lawmakers to agree on a plan to replace the overcrowded Oahu Community Correctional Center buys more time to study broader reforms.

Who Won And Who Lost In A Legislative Session Marked By Failure Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Who Won And Who Lost In A Legislative Session Marked By Failure

The session cost some legislative leaders their jobs and may have brightened the political futures of others.

Passage Of State Budget Bill Breaks The Legislative Logjam — For Now Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Passage Of State Budget Bill Breaks The Legislative Logjam — For Now

Negotiations continue on the rail-tax measure during the secretive home stretch when Senate and House leaders meet in conference committees.

Committee Rejects Governor’s Choice For Utilities Commission Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Committee Rejects Governor’s Choice For Utilities Commission

UPDATED But the full Senate will ultimately decide whether Tom Gorak’s appointment to the PUC will be confirmed.

Competing Airbnb Bills Set Off Lobbying Battle Screenshot

Competing Airbnb Bills Set Off Lobbying Battle

A  bill letting online brokers serve as tax collectors is likely to pass, but lawmakers are still debating giving local governments more enforcement power.

Homelessness: A Lot Of Talk But No ‘Game-Changer’ At The Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Homelessness: A Lot Of Talk But No ‘Game-Changer’ At The Legislature

Some bills are still alive, with their fate to be decided in conference committees.

Hawaii Police Agencies Struggle To Equip Officers With Body Cameras Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Hawaii Police Agencies Struggle To Equip Officers With Body Cameras

Only one department — the smallest — has had any luck with implementing the technology. So what’s taking so long everywhere else?