The Commission would like to inform you of the following campaign finance bills which were passed during the 2022 legislative session:
1. Act 3, SLH 2022 (H.B. 1427, HD 1)
Governor David Ige signed H.B. 1427 H.D. 1 into law as Act 3 on April 7, 2022. Act 3, effective upon approval, amends Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §11-334 to provide that candidates who are either unsuccessful or are elected to office in the primary election, do not need to file preliminary general reports. Amends subsections (b) and (c) of HRS §11-339 to make them consistent with subsection (a) by aggregating contributions and expenditures in determining whether a committee need only file the final election period report.
2. Act 171, SLH 2022 (S.B. 2043, HD 1)
Governor David Ige signed S.B. 2043 H.D. 1 into law as Act 171 on June 27, 2022. Act 171, effective upon approval, repeals references in HRS §11-322(b) and §11-323(b) concerning a paragraph in subsection (a) that was previously repealed concerning committees’ organizational reports.
3. Act 181, SLH 2022 (S.B. 665, SD 1, HD 2, CD 1)
Governor David Ige signed S.B. 665 H.D. 2, C.D. 1 into law as Act 181 on June 27, 2022. Act 181, effective upon approval, amends HRS §11-411 to authorize criminal referrals for prosecution for campaign finance law violations in addition to administrative penalties. Amends HRS §11-412 by making it a class C felony to intentionally providing false information concerning the name or address of a person paying for a campaign advertisement, increasing the period during which a person convicted for a criminal violation of campaign finance law is disqualified from holding elective office from 4 to 10 years, and authorizing the Attorney General or Prosecuting Attorney to commence prosecution of campaign finance law violations without the need for a referral from the Commission.
4. Act 169, SLH 2022 (H.B. 2416, HD 2, SD 1, CD 1)
Governor David Ige signed H.B. 2416 S.D. 1, C.D. 1 into law as Act 169 on June 27, 2022. Act 169, effective January 1, 2023, enhances existing campaign finance laws to address dark money. Specifies consent procedures for when 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations operating as noncandidate committees can use donations for electioneering communications, independent expenditures, or contributions, and requires these organizations to provide certain written notice to donors. Requires 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations operating as noncandidate committees to disclose the name and address of donors who make a donation individually or in an aggregate of more than $10,000, with certain exceptions. Adds definitions. Amends HRS §11-341 by changing the definition of “disclosure date” to when an electioneering communication is publicly distributed and the date on which subsequent electioneering communications is publicly distributed, provided the person making the expenditure has made expenditures for electioneering communications of more than $2,000 in the aggregate. For mailers, the disclosure date means the date the mailers are first mailed.
5. Act 283, SLH 2022 (S.B. 555, SD 1, HD 1)
Governor David Ige signed S.B. 555 S.D. 1, H.D. 1 into law as Act 283 on July 12, 2022. Act 283, effective January 1, 2023, amends HRS §11-342 to prohibit elected state and county officials from holding any fundraiser or fundraiser event to raise contributions for which any price is charged or any contribution is suggested for attendance during a regular session or special session of the state legislature.