House of Representatives' Immediate Initiatives in Response to the Recent Bribery Charges
News Release from Office of House Speaker Scott Saiki, Feb 16, 2022
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Speaker Scott K. Saiki announced that the House of Representatives is taking the following actions to address the recent bribery charges. In addition, the House will continue to consider and propose additional initiatives during the legislative session.
1. RE-OPENING THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING ON MARCH 7, 2022
The House is re-opening the State Capitol to the public beginning March 7, 2022. House members, House staff, and the public will be required to adhere to the state vaccination policy (the “State Access to State Property policy”) to enter the State Capitol. The state vaccination policy requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours old.
House members will be physically present at the State Capitol for floor sessions and committee hearings unless they receive an ADA exemption.
House committee hearings will be conducted in a hybrid manner. Oral public testimony may be provided in person or by video conference.
The House gallery will be open during floor sessions to members of the public who are in compliance with the state vaccination policy.
Re-opening protocols are subject to change. Additional details regarding re-opening protocols will be provided as they are finalized.
2. STRENGTHENING ETHICS TRAINING.
The State Ethics Commission will conduct an ethics training refresher for House members on March 9, 2022. House members last completed the biennial ethics training on January 22, 2021.
Further, the House has requested that the Ethics Commission offer ethics trainings for lobbyists and government contractors.
3. CREATING A COMMISSION TO IMPROVE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.
The House is introducing House Resolution # 9 (see draft attached). This Resolution creates the Commission to Increase Standards of Conduct to recommend ways to improve current ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance laws and standard of conduct regulations.
The Commission members include:
· Judge Daniel R. Foley (Ret.), who will serve as Chair
· Robert D. Harris, Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission
· Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, Executive Director of the Campaign Spending Commission
· Sandy Ma, Executive Director of Common Cause Hawaii
· Barbara C. Marumoto, Former State Representative
· Janet Mason, League of Women Voters
· Florence T. Nakakuni, Former United States Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi
The Commission is requested to provide interim recommendations prior to March 31, 2022, and final recommendations prior to December 1, 2022.
Speaker Saiki stated:
"These preliminary actions reflect the House of Representatives’ resolve to be more transparent and to increase public participation in the legislative process. The House also recognizes the need for much more to be done to build back the public’s trust.”
HR9: Text, Status
 Executive Order No. 21-07, September 8, 2021.
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CB: Lawmakers Plan To Reopen Hawaii State Capitol To The Public On March 7 -- Senate President Ron Kouchi later released a written statement saying the Senate had not been consulted about the reopening of the Capitol before before Saiki made his announcement. The Senate “will await official word” from state Comptroller Curt Otaguro on the opening date, Kouchi wrote….