Saturday, December 20, 2008

Supreme Court rules on Legislative Fee Transfer

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled on December 18th that the Legislature's transfer of $3.5 million in regulatory fees into the General Fund was unlawful.  The Advertiser story is here.  Robert Thomas' blog, also includes a post of Justice Levinson's opinion in "Hawaii Insurers Council v. Lingle.

In summary, the Hawaii Insurers Council complained that the regulatory fee assessments imposed by the state Insurance Commissioner are unconstitutional and that the regulatory fees can not be transferred to the general fund to be used for other purposes.

The case has been heard in the Circuit Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals, both courts ruling in favor of the Insurers.  

While the Hawaii Supreme Court rules in the state's favor on the first point, opining that the regulatory assessments were not unconstitutional, it ruled against the state on the second point, that the transfer of the fees to the general fund by the Legislature was invalid.

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