At least six state board members have now submitted letters of resignation since the Hawaii Legislature unanimously passed a bill in April that expands the list of boards whose members must disclose their financial interests.

Three Land Use Commission members — Ernest Matsumura, Dennis Esaki and Sheldon Biga — have submitted letters of resignation, the governor’s office confirmed Thursday.

And a third person serving on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents submitted his resignation Thursday, but that member’s name isn’t being released yet because Gov. Neil Abercrombie has yet to see it, his office said.

Hawaii State Capitol

Hawaii State Capitol, April 26, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Regents Saedene Ota and John Dean resigned last month, citing Senate Bill 2682 as the reason.

The bill adds 15 boards and commissions to the list of those that already have to file public financial disclosure statements. Lawmakers have said the new requirement will help the public identify and raise concerns about possible conflicts of interest.

Abercrombie was considering vetoing the bill last week over privacy concerns, but decided Monday to let it become law without his signature after an outpouring of criticism from good-government groups like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters as well as his Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial primary, state Sen. David Ige.

The law is set to take effect Tuesday.

Earlier Thursday, Abercrombie issued a news release urging qualified individuals looking to serve the public to apply for state board or commission openings that will occur as the bill takes effect.

Here is the list of the 15 boards whose members will have to make their financial disclosure statements public:

  • UH Board of Regents
  • Board of Agriculture
  • State Ethics Commission
  • Hawaiian Homes Commission
  • Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation Board of Directors
  • Board of Land and Natural Resources
  • Land Use Commission
  • Legacy Land Conservation Commission
  • Natural Area Reserves System Commission
  • Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Board of Directors
  • Hawaii Public Housing Authority Board of Directors
  • Public Utilities Commission
  • Commission on Water Resource Management
  • Hawaii Community Development Authority
  • Agribusiness Development Corporation

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