The interim task force on HR176, to establish a standards of conduct committee, is underway. The bi-partisan task force includes Kirk Caldwell, Majority Leader, as chair, and members Lynn Finnegan, Jon Riki Karamatsu, Michael Magaoay, Barbara Marumoto, Colleen Meyer, Blake Oshiro, and Kymberly Pine. The group has met twice and will reconvene on August 21st. At the August meeting, the task force is scheduled to meet with Dan Mollway, executive director of the State Ethics Commission and Dean Avi Soifer of the UH Law School.
Rep. Blake Oshiro provided the task force with informational material, including the results of a survey on public disclosure by The Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Journalism in the Public Interest. Conducted in 1999, and updated in April 2006, the 43-question survey was designed to determine whether legislators stand to gain personally from actions taken in office. Hawaii ranked as the 2nd best legislature with a grade of "A". The state of Washington ranked #1.
In the Governors Disclosure rankings, released on July 19th, Hawaii also ranked #2 behind Washington. However, Washington was the only state to receive an "A", and Hawaii received a "B".