Editor’s note: This is part of a Civil Beat series exploring conflicts of interest in the Hawaii Legislature.

The Hawaii House of Representatives is debating a bill that would extend tobacco settlement appropriations to the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School Of Medicine through 2015, helping fund the training of new doctors.

A lawmaker stands up and says she might have a conflict of interest, saying, “My grandson is a third-year student at the med school.”

That’s all that’s said on the floor.

You’re presiding over the House and need to decide if the lawmaker is allowed to vote or should be excused because she has a conflict of interest.

The House says a conflict of interest means “the legislation affects the member’s direct personal, familial, or financial interest except if the member, or the member’s relative, is part of a class of people affected by the legislation.” (For more information on the ground rules and to review other potential conflicts, visit our how-to guide.)

What would you rule? Vote at Facebook.

About the Author