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
Report: Public Is Being Shut Out On Critical State Information

Report: Public Is Being Shut Out On Critical State Information

A new study by a public interest law firm says Hawaii is the worst in the nation when it comes to timely decisions on open records and open meetings issues.

Another Delay Sought For Surprise Care Home Inspections Courtesy: Snowpeak/Flickr.com

Another Delay Sought For Surprise Care Home Inspections

Advocates for the elderly say unannounced inspections are long overdue but state officials foresee problems.

10 Drownings In 3 Weeks: Will Hawaii Lawmakers Boost Ocean Safety Now? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

10 Drownings In 3 Weeks: Will Hawaii Lawmakers Boost Ocean Safety Now?

The rash of deaths on Maui, predominantly visitors, has elected officials searching for solutions.

Legislature Keeps Written Testimony Under Wraps Til The Last Minute Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Legislature Keeps Written Testimony Under Wraps Til The Last Minute

The common practice of not releasing testimony to the public until an hour before a hearing has one Republican lawmaker pushing for change.

Denby Fawcett: When Does Hawaii’s Famous ‘Aloha Kiss’ Become Sexual Harassment? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Denby Fawcett: When Does Hawaii’s Famous ‘Aloha Kiss’ Become Sexual Harassment?

In Hawaii’s hugging culture, it’s hard to tell when the traditional hug and kiss is innocent or inappropriate.

Medical Aid In Dying: ‘The Political Risk Is Not Passing It’ Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Medical Aid In Dying: ‘The Political Risk Is Not Passing It’

With polls consistently showing public support for the concept, legislators look to give the issue another go this session.

House Speaker Doesn’t Want Lieutenant Governor Job Either Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House Speaker Doesn’t Want Lieutenant Governor Job Either

UPDATED Attorney General Doug Chin says he’ll decide if he’ll take the job by Friday.

Here’s How The State Could End Up Owning Your Oceanfront Property Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s How The State Could End Up Owning Your Oceanfront Property

When sea level rises, a new legal opinion says, public land follows the shoreline and the state can charge property owners to access their own places.

Why Hawaii’s Unlicensed Elder Care Industry Is Out Of Control Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why Hawaii’s Unlicensed Elder Care Industry Is Out Of Control

UPDATED. Lawmakers have introduced a bill with the backing of the industry and some elderly-rights groups but the measure faces a long road to passage.
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.