Civil Beat

IDEAS: Essays

Junked Vehicles: How One Hawaii Lawmaker Turned A Good Idea Into Reality Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat.2017

Junked Vehicles: How One Hawaii Lawmaker Turned A Good Idea Into Reality

A freshman legislator saw four of his bills addressing abandoned vehicles pass the 2022 Hawaii Legislature. Here’s how he did it.

Here Are Some Good Ideas That Are Poised To Make It Through The Legislature Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Here Are Some Good Ideas That Are Poised To Make It Through The Legislature

Bills establishing ranked-choice voting, a chief data officer, retirement programs and free copying of public records passed or are set to pass this week.

Let’s Talk About A Unicameral Legislature For Hawaii Wikimedia: Tony Webster

Let’s Talk About A Unicameral Legislature For Hawaii

Nebraska is the only state to have one, and it has cut costs, improved efficiency and reduced partisanship.

The Onus Is Upon The Legislature To Restore Public Trust Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The Onus Is Upon The Legislature To Restore Public Trust

A commission formed to improve standards of conduct of state government has made recommendations, but ultimately Hawaii lawmakers must take the lead.

Turn Red Hill Into A Pumped Storage Hydro Facility Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Turn Red Hill Into A Pumped Storage Hydro Facility

It’s a technology that has been in use for over 100 years.

It’s Simple, Lawmakers: If You Have A Conflict, Don’t Vote Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

It’s Simple, Lawmakers: If You Have A Conflict, Don’t Vote

It’s not enough for the leaders of the House and Senate, with little deliberation, to simply declare that something is not a conflict.

When You’re Cracking Down On Corruption, Don’t Forget Lobbyists Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

When You’re Cracking Down On Corruption, Don’t Forget Lobbyists

There are many things the Legislature can do to bring far greater transparency and accountability to a sometimes shady political industry.

Rep. Nicole Lowen: Support Local Farmers By Fixing Hawaii’s Coffee Labeling Law Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat/2020

Rep. Nicole Lowen: Support Local Farmers By Fixing Hawaii’s Coffee Labeling Law

We should not allow our valuable geographic origin names to be used to market products as something they are not.

Hawaii Lawmakers Should Identify The People Asking For Legislation Screenshot/2022

Hawaii Lawmakers Should Identify The People Asking For Legislation

The practice of introducing bills anonymously “by request of another party” is a disservice to the public and to lawmakers themselves. What is there to hide?

The Onus Is Upon The Legislature To Restore Public Trust Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The Onus Is Upon The Legislature To Restore Public Trust

A commission formed to improve standards of conduct of state government has made recommendations, but ultimately Hawaii lawmakers must take the lead.

Turn Red Hill Into A Pumped Storage Hydro Facility Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Turn Red Hill Into A Pumped Storage Hydro Facility

It’s a technology that has been in use for over 100 years.

It’s Simple, Lawmakers: If You Have A Conflict, Don’t Vote Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

It’s Simple, Lawmakers: If You Have A Conflict, Don’t Vote

It’s not enough for the leaders of the House and Senate, with little deliberation, to simply declare that something is not a conflict.

When You’re Cracking Down On Corruption, Don’t Forget Lobbyists Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

When You’re Cracking Down On Corruption, Don’t Forget Lobbyists

There are many things the Legislature can do to bring far greater transparency and accountability to a sometimes shady political industry.

Rep. Nicole Lowen: Support Local Farmers By Fixing Hawaii’s Coffee Labeling Law Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat/2020

Rep. Nicole Lowen: Support Local Farmers By Fixing Hawaii’s Coffee Labeling Law

We should not allow our valuable geographic origin names to be used to market products as something they are not.

Hawaii Lawmakers Should Identify The People Asking For Legislation Screenshot/2022

Hawaii Lawmakers Should Identify The People Asking For Legislation

The practice of introducing bills anonymously “by request of another party” is a disservice to the public and to lawmakers themselves. What is there to hide?

Let’s Remove Obstacles That Keep Citizens From Getting Government Records Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2013

Let’s Remove Obstacles That Keep Citizens From Getting Government Records

Some bills before the Legislature would help — for instance, by reducing copying fees. Others are bad ideas that would blow holes in the public’s right to know.

Don’t Back Down On Financial Disclosure Requirement For State Boards Screenshot/2020

Don’t Back Down On Financial Disclosure Requirement For State Boards

The Legislature is considering redacting dollar amount ranges from public view because some think that could attract more and better applicants.

Let Candidates For Hawaii Governor Pick Their Own Running Mates Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2018

Let Candidates For Hawaii Governor Pick Their Own Running Mates

A cohesive relationship between the top two executive offices would bolster the effectiveness and productivity of state government.