Gov. Neil Abercrombie evidently expects a number of state board members to quit when a bill requiring them to publicly disclose their financial interests becomes law Tuesday.

Senate Bill 2682 adds 15 boards and commissions to the list of those that already have to file public financial disclosure statements.

Abercrombie was thinking about vetoing it last week, but decided Monday to let it become law without his signature.

He issued a news release Thursday urging “qualified individuals looking to serve the public to apply for state board or commission openings that will occur as Senate Bill 2682 takes effect on July 8.”

The release did not explain the basis for his apparent belief that the bill will create a number of vacancies. He just said on that date 15 boards and commissions will be required to have their annual financial disclosure statements made public.

Two University of Hawaii regents resigned last month before knowing if the bill was even going to become law.

A handful of other board and commission members objected to the bill as it worked its way through the legislative process earlier this year, but it ultimately passed unanimously with support from good-government groups like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters touting the boost to government transparency.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie during an interview with Civil Beat.

Gov. Abercrombie says requiring more financial disclosures to be made public could discourage applicants for boards and commissions.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

 

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