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.

Why Hawaii Must Become More Energy Resilient Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Why Hawaii Must Become More Energy Resilient

Speakers at the Maui Energy Conference posed questions about what type of life the state wants to create for its citizens as it adapts.

Illegal Care Homes Are A Growing Problem In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Illegal Care Homes Are A Growing Problem In Hawaii

The operators of residential care facilities want lawmakers to crack down on what’s being called a growing consumer protection issue.

State Revenue Forecast Drops By $250 Million Cory Lum/Civil Beat

State Revenue Forecast Drops By $250 Million

The Hawaii Council on Revenues lowered its growth forecast for the general fund to 2.5 percent this fiscal year.

Lawmaker May Lose Committee Chair Over Pesticide Bill Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmaker May Lose Committee Chair Over Pesticide Bill

Hawaii Rep. Angus McKelvey’s effort to push through a contentious pesticide disclosure bill could lead to his ouster as head of Consumer Protection and Commerce.

Ban On Many Sunscreen Products Likely To Pass In Hawaii Senate Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Ban On Many Sunscreen Products Likely To Pass In Hawaii Senate

The Democratic Party, Office of Hawaiian Affairs and others are urging the House to follow suit, but the measure faces opposition there.

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.