The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is considering ethics guidance for Hawaii legislators regarding the use of their annual legislative allowance.

The commission’s staff has prepared recommendations, and government officials and the public are invited to weigh in. The commission’s board of directors will take the matter up June 18.

The reason for the proposed guidelines is because the commission has received complaints from legislators about expenditures made by other legislators using state funds in 2012 and 2013, according to the agency.

Les Kondo

Les Kondo, executive director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

While most expenditures seem “reasonably related to a legislator’s official duties,” the commission said some disbursements “on their face, appeared to be personal in nature and unrelated to a legislator’s official duties.”

Under the state’s Fair Treatment law, expenses like office supplies, parking and mileage, membership dues and even ceremonial lei do not appear to be prohibited.

Other expenses, like political or charitable contributions, dry cleaning and food and beverages to thank staff, do not appear to be covered.

State senators and representatives each received allowances totaling $10,200 in 2012 and $11,261 in 2013.

Read Civil Beat’s recent reporting on legislative allowances:

Hawaii Ethics Commission Examines How Lawmakers Spend Their Allowances

Hawaii Monitor: Legislative Silence Shouldn’t Trump Ethics Oversight

State Senators Spend Allowances on Everything from Salt to Travel Abroad

Hawaii House Reps Spend on Refrigeration, Mediation, Translation

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