The Hawaii State Constitution sets procedures for enactment of new laws. The purpose of these procedures is to facilitate public participation and to discourage deceptive practices and “logrolling”.
Article III, Section 14 provides in relevant part, “Each law shall embrace but one subject which shall be expressed in its title.”
Article III, Section 15 provides in relevant part that “No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each out on separate days.”
In plain English, our Legislature is not supposed to pass a bill which addresses 2 or more unrelated subjects, and is not supposed to pass a bill whose subject has not had 3 separate readings in the State House and 3 separate readings in the State Senate.
Unfortunately, legislators use deceptive practices such as “gut and replace”, when a bill is stripped of its original content and replaced with an unrelated bill’s contents, and “Franken-bills” which is when bills encompassing various subjects are cobbled together into 1 bill.
Common Cause Hawaii opposes these practices as it hinders public participation and adequate legislative review as required by our constitution. To highlight these practices, we have partnered with the League of Women Voters Hawaii to create the “Rusty Scalpel” award.
Read about previous Rusty Scalpel winners: