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New Hawaii laws limit campaign contributions, lobbyists gifts

Lawmakers approved six bills relating to campaign finance and lobbying during this legislative session.

Published: April 3, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

Hawaii candidates will face new rules in coming elections, including one that caps campaign contributions per person at $100 each election cycle.

Candidates are required to offer a receipt to the contributors according to House Bill 99. It takes effect immediately.

Lawmakers approved six bills relating to campaign finance and lobbying during this legislative session.

Another law changes the definition of a fundraiser to include any event held to benefit a candidate or committee, no matter how much the price or suggested contribution is.

House Bill 93 requires the Campaign Spending Commission to publish anyone not in compliance with filing requirements on its website.

Other laws target lobbyists. House Bill 142 prohibits lobbyists from offering banned gifts to lawmakers or they could face a fine. That bill took effect Friday when it was signed into law by Green.

A second bill that requires lobbyists to report how much they spent campaigning for legislation takes effect in January 2025.

The State Ethics Commission will have the freedom to decide if it wants to keep records past the six-year statutory requirement. House Bill 104 was effective after Green's signature and is retroactive.

The State Campaign Spending Commission, the State Ethics Commission and the State Office of Elections recommended the bills, which House Speaker Scott Saiki introduced.

Green said the bills provide a "transparent and accountable government."

"I said it during my time as lieutenant governor, I said it during my campaign, and I have repeated it many times, including in my State of the State address, because I believe it is a critical part of effective government that delivers for our people," Green said in a statement. "The bills I have signed into law today were crafted by many great and collaborative minds and will allow even more sunshine into the executive and legislative branches of government."

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