End Gut and Replace

Democracy works best when everyone participates, and everyone’s voice is heard.

But Hawaii legislators regularly cut people out of their conversations on key issues in clear violation of our State Constitution.

That’s why Common Cause Hawaii and the League of Women Voters of Honolulu, as represented by Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, filed suit in September 2018 against the State, demanding a stop to the Hawaii Legislature’s “gut and replace” practice.

“Gut and replace” is as ugly as it sounds.

Lawmakers wait until the last minute to strip a bill of its original contents, stuff the bill with something completely different, and then push it through without the constitutionally required public or legislative review.

Over the years, legislators used “gut and replace” to transform conservation, health care, and tax relief for low-income people into bills that helped the private sector and special interest groups. This practice to must end.

Unfortunately, the lower court did not agree with us. Common Cause Hawaii and the League of Women Voters of Honolulu have appealed the dismissal of our “gut and replace” litigation to the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Everyone, especially our lawmakers, should respect and abide by our State Constitution. Nobody is above the law.