MEDIA ADVISORY: Hawaii Passes Two Democracy Reform Bills

(Honolulu, HI) –Today marks the completion of the 2013 Legislative Session, and the Twenty-Seventh Hawaii State Legislature unanimously passed two reform bills:

HB1132 – January Disclosure Deadlines for Legislators: This bill would require legislators to file a disclosure of financial interests with the State Ethics Commission between January 1 and January 31 annually, instead of its current deadline of May 31 – after session.

HB1147 – Transparency for SuperPACS in Political Advertisements: This measure would significantly improve campaign finance disclosure at the state level and boost transparency in the post-Citizens United era. HB1147 would improve reporting for noncandidate committees (PACs and SuperPACs) and electioneering communications, and requires disclosure of top contributors in political advertisements by SuperPACs.

According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Hawaii has ranked in the bottom half of the nation with respect to disclosure for independent expenditures.

“There has been a collective effort nationwide to strengthen disclosure laws, and Hawaii has been lagging behind for years. This session, we made great strides toward improving that gap. The community has been increasingly vocal about the need to make disclosure and transparency in our election campaigns a priority, and legislators listened. We commend them for taking a pro-active effort this session,” said Carmille Lim, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii.

HB1132 and HB1147 received support in both chambers. The Senate passed HB1147 unanimously on Thursday, May 2, after some confusion about its status on Tuesday.

Common Cause Hawaii is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to promote citizen participation in the political process and hold government accountable to the public interest. For more information, visit