Hawaii Legislature

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The Hawaii State Legislature consists of two houses: the Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate has 25 elected members and the House has 51. Senators serve four-year terms while representatives serve two-year terms. Currently, the Democratic Party controls the majority in the Senate and House.

Under the current state constitution, Hawaii’s government is organized into three branches: Executive, Judicial and Legislative.

The Legislature meets on the third Wednesday in January and convenes for 60 work days that excluding the weekends, holidays, and recess days, according to Article III, Section 10 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

The responsibilities of the Legislature include appointing the state auditor, whose office was established to evaluate the performance of state agencies, departments and offices to ensure accountability. The auditor reports its findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature, which often directs the office to make investigations.

Hawaii Legislature
Pesticide Compromise Reached As Conference Committee Time Expires Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Pesticide Compromise Reached As Conference Committee Time Expires

Measures on medical marijuana and all-mail voting are moving forward before the session wraps up next week.

Hawaii Lawmakers Want To Spend $30M On Legal Homeless Encampments Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Lawmakers Want To Spend $30M On Legal Homeless Encampments

Three “ohana zones” would be built on Oahu, and one each on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

Hawaii May Soon Join The Other 49 States In Setting Police Standards Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii May Soon Join The Other 49 States In Setting Police Standards

A conference committee of legislators agrees to a bill that establishes a standards board instead of just studying the idea.

Legislators Agree To Spend $200M More On Affordable Rentals Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Legislators Agree To Spend $200M More On Affordable Rentals

Lawmakers say they expect to create 25,000 affordable rental housing units by 2030.

For Hawaii Politicians, It Pays To Have Jennifer Sabas On Your Side Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

For Hawaii Politicians, It Pays To Have Jennifer Sabas On Your Side

Support from the former top aide to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye has been a boon to two prominent candidates in their bids for higher office.

House, Senate Agree To $14 Billion State Budget Bill Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House, Senate Agree To $14 Billion State Budget Bill

A joint conference committee passed the overall budget bill ahead of schedule to fast-track funding for areas hit by flooding.

Legislators Push To Send $100 Million To Kauai For Flood Damage Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Legislators Push To Send $100 Million To Kauai For Flood Damage

UPDATED: They also plan to set aside $25 million to help other parts of the state. Meanwhile, Gov. Ige addresses Oahu damage.

Tactics To Revive Mauna Kea Bill Leave Even Senators Confused Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Tactics To Revive Mauna Kea Bill Leave Even Senators Confused

Recesses in a public floor session to talk privately about the legislative maneuvering slow down “second crossover” day at the Hawaii Capitol.

What’s Up With All The Gut-And-Replace Trickery At The Legislature This Year? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

What’s Up With All The Gut-And-Replace Trickery At The Legislature This Year?

More and more dramatic last-minute changes in bills are being made with a minimum of public notice this legislative session.

Feral Cat-Friendly Measure Dies In The Senate Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Feral Cat-Friendly Measure Dies In The Senate

The Humane Society supported the bill to maintain cat colonies, but opponents pointed to the damage they do to other species.

Will Lawmakers Help These Low-Income Tenants Stay In Their Lahaina Homes? Anna Barbeau

Will Lawmakers Help These Low-Income Tenants Stay In Their Lahaina Homes?

More than 250 tenants of a subsidized Maui apartment complex fear eviction amid the owner’s plans to raise rents to market rates.

Hawaii Legislature Passes Medical Aid In Dying Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Legislature Passes Medical Aid In Dying

The bill cleared its final hurdle in the Senate by a wide margin and is now headed to the governor for his signature.