Hawaii Legislature

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As youth vaping rates surged, a powerful state lawmaker repeatedly held up anti-vaping laws while accepting nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from tobacco companies and lobbyists.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Attorneys argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday over how much lawmakers should allow the public to weigh in on legislation as laws are being drafted and voted on.

jdnx / Flickr

Hawaii lawmakers on Friday wrapped up a legislative session upended by the coronavirus pandemic that forced weekslong breaks in proceedings, the state Capitol building to close and some meetings to be held via teleconference.

Hawaii House Democrats

Updated: 5/12/2020, 12:12 p.m.

Where Hawaii stands

Hawaii recorded one new coronavirus cases today. The state health department reported that the count is now at 635 and the deaths stand at 17. Oahu cases are at 411, Maui County at 117, Hawaii Island at 75 and Kauai County at 21. There are 11 cases diagnosed out of state.

Legislators detail how they propose to make up $1B budget shortfall

Hawaii State Capitol

The Hawaii House of Representatives approved bills affecting taxes in specific areas and raising the state's minimum wage.


A bill that would require publicly traded corporations based in Hawaii to include women on their boards of directors has advanced in the state Senate, but it is facing resistance from business advocates.

Audrey McAvoy/AP

Lawmakers opened a new session of the Hawaii Legislature on Wednesday with vows to address the state's punishingly high cost of living so families don't have to abandon the islands for cheaper places.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

Problems abound but no single issue appears to have yet united Hawaii lawmakers as the opening of the 2020 legislative session approaches on Wednesday.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Hawaii officials say they are prepared to maintain women’s health services in the state as the Trump administration orders taxpayer-funded family planning clinics to stop both referring patients for abortion services and discussing the topic with them.

If the clinics refuse to comply with the administration rule, they risk losing federal funding.

Ryan Finnerty

Hawaiʻi lawmakers wrapped up their 2019 legislative session Thursday with an olive branch extended to Gov. David Ige.

East Maui Irrigation Co.


Legislation to preserve rights for private users of Hawai’i’s fresh stream water died yesterday.


Capt. Andrew Hoskinson / U.S. Air Force

State lawmakers are looking for ways to improve healthcare for Micronesian residents, many of whom seek care at Hawaiʻi emergency rooms which often results in the state paying for their treatment.

DVIDS / U.S. Coast Guard

Kauai Flooding Update; 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index; Volunteer Week; Electric Buses

The Conversation: Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Mar 1, 2018
John Wehrheim

Proliferation of Double Utility Poles; New Jon Van Dyke Public Archive; Sanctuary Churches; Bhutan Exhibit

Cesspool Funding and Upgrade Bills Advance in the House

Feb 15, 2018
Wayne Yoshioka

A number of proposed bills dealing with cesspools are advancing in the House of Representatives this session. HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka has this update.

The Conversation: Friday, August 25th, 2017

Aug 25, 2017
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

Special Legislative Session; Thoughts from a Former Governor; Smartphone Apps for Farmers

Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature is considering passage of a death with dignity measure this session.   It’s been an emotionally charged issue and HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka provides viewpoints from both sides.

Governor Grades Legislative Session

May 4, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor held a news conference today and graded the legislative session so far.   As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the state’s chief executive says he’s a hard grader.

The Conversation: Monday, April 25th, 2016

Apr 25, 2016
Flickr - Andrew Wilkinson

Penalties for Dumping; Shakespeare’s First Folio; The Legislative Process; Music of Shakespeare

Illegal Curbside Dumping, C&C Bill 24: Councilmember Kymberly Pine

The Conversation: Friday, April 15th, 2016

Apr 15, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

State Education Budget; Art from Trash; Hula Honeys

What’s in the Education Budget: Jim Shon

The Conversation: Friday, April 8th, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

Hawaiian Homelands; Hula Choreography; Kaho'olawe Update

$17-million Funding Request for DHHL: Sharla Manley

HPV Vaccine Bill for 7th Graders Opposed

Feb 3, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

Some state lawmakers try to enact laws to improve the health of the people they serve.   But, as HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, sometimes their good intentions backfire.  

State Legislature Convenes With Homelessness #1

Jan 20, 2016
Wayne Yoshioka

The State Legislature convened today for the 2016 session.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Town Square: The 2015 Legislative Session

May 7, 2015

  If you had to characterize the 2015 session, what would you say? This week on Town Square, we'll hear how our contributing editor, Neal Milner and Poly Sci Guy, UH Professor Colin Moore see it...and you, too.

Town Square: Agriculture Bills

Mar 26, 2015

 On this episode of Town Square... The farmers' views of what's happening at the Legislature. Our panel looks at the agriculture bills still in play and growing attention- and what they could mean in practice for those on the front lines, Hawaii's farmers. 

Town Square: Crossover Legislation

Mar 12, 2015

Colin Moore and Neal Milner take a look at the bills are crossing over this legislative session.

Part I: The House "Freshman Class" Priorities

Mar 2, 2015
William Nhieu, House Majority Communications Office

There are six new members serving their first term in the State House of Representatives.   They are referred to as the “Freshman Class.”  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka caught up with them and files this report.

Town Square: Medical Marijuana

Feb 26, 2015

Many bills dealing with medical marijuana are still on the move at the Legislature. Proponents hope that this is the year when lawmakers finally pass measures to create a system of functional dispensaries and associated laws to support access, transport, and use 14 years after Hawaii got its medical marijuana law. Our panel looked at what's still alive as crossover is just a few weeks away. 

Lawmakers Briefed on Affordable Rental Housing

Jan 27, 2015
Wayne Yoshioka

Hawai’i’s need for more affordable rental housing was the subject  of a briefing today before a Joint Legislative Housing Committee.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports. 

Town Square: 2015 Legislative Session Issues

Jan 22, 2015

  The 2015 legislative session opened for  business this week - next on Town Square our annual look at the issues that Neal Milner, Colin Moore and I will be watching. So what's on your list?