With the passing of U.S. Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy, the State of Massachusetts will be considering new legislation that would allow a speedy replacement for the Senator's seat. Laws covering vacancies in the U.S. Senate vary from state to state. Massachusetts law allows for a special election to fill the seat between 145 and 160 days following the vacancy, with no temporary appointment by the governor.
Here's a chart comparing the replacement process by state.
Hawaii is one of three states, joining Utah and Wyoming, where the governor appoints a temporary replacement who serves until the next regularly scheduled general election. The governor chooses from a list of three names submitted by the political party of the prior incumbent.