Hawaii earns a B grade, which is determined primarily from the category of Document Accessibility: “In order to know whether the state could be making more information publicly available, it’s important to know what information they collect. Can the public access lobbyist registration and expenditure forms?”
The answer in Hawaii’s case is, yes — and it’s viewable through the Hawaii State Ethics Commission website.
I’ve used the data myself quite a lot, and it’s amazing just how many people in Hawaii are lobbyists: from Duke Aiona to Bruce Coppa, from Lea Hong to John Radcliffe, from Jennifer Sabas to Deborah Zysman.
Hawaii did not score so well in other criteria, however, according to Sunlight. We received a negative score for Expenditure Reporting Thresholds: “Does the state require lobbyists to include all expenses in reports, or only those above a certain amount?”
We also scored zeros for Lobbyist Compensation (“Does the state mandate that lobbyists disclose how much they receive from a client?”) and Lobbyist Activity (“Do lobbyists have to reveal which pieces of legislation or executive actions they are seeking to influence?”).
At least we’re not Florida: They had the worst scores of any state. Massachusetts and South Carolina had the highest marks.
The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses “the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.”
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