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Hawaii State Constitution



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As Amended and in Force January 1, 2000




Section 1. The year 1973, the year 1981, and every tenth year thereafter shall be reapportionment years. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 2. A reapportionment commission shall be constituted on or before May 1 of each reapportionment year and whenever reapportionment is required by court order. The commission shall consist of nine members. The president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives shall each select two members. Members of each house belonging to the party or parties different from that of the president or the speaker shall designate one of their number for each house and the two so designated shall each select two members of the commission. The eight members so selected, promptly after selection, shall be certified by the selecting authorities to the chief election officer and within thirty days thereafter, shall select, by a vote of six members, and promptly certify to the chief election officer the ninth member who shall serve as chairperson of the commission.

Each of the four officials designated above as selecting authorities for the eight members of the commission, at the time of the commission selections, shall also select one person from each basic island unit to serve on an apportionment advisory council for that island unit. The councils shall remain in existence during the life of the commission and each shall serve in an advisory capacity to the commission for matters affecting its island unit.

A vacancy in the commission or a council shall be filled by the initial selecting authority within fifteen days after the vacancy occurs. Commission and council positions and vacancies not filled within the times specified shall be filled promptly thereafter by the supreme court.

The commission shall act by majority vote of its membership and shall establish its own procedures, except as may be provided by law.

Not more than one hundred fifty days from the date on which its members are certified, the commission shall file with the chief election officer a reapportionment plan for the state legislature and a reapportionment plan for the United States congressional districts which shall become law after publication as provided by law. Members of the commission shall hold office until each reapportionment plan becomes effective or until such time as may be provided by law.

No member of the reapportionment commission or an apportionment advisory council shall be eligible to become a candidate for election to either house of the legislature or to the United States House of Representatives in either of the first two elections under any such reapportionment plan.

Commission and apportionment advisory council members shall be compensated and reimbursed for their necessary expenses as provided by law

The chief election officer shall be secretary of the commission without vote and, under the direction of the commission, shall furnish all necessary technical services. The legislature shall appropriate funds to enable the commission to carry out its duties. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 2322 (1992) and election Nov 3, 1992]


Section 3. The legislature shall provide for a chief election officer of the State, whose responsibilities shall be as provided by law and shall include the supervision of state elections, the maximization of registration of eligible voters throughout the State and the maintenance of data concerning registered voters, elections, apportionment and districting. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 4. The commission shall allocate the total number of members of each house of the state legislature being reapportioned among the four basic island units, namely: (1) the island of Hawaii, (2) the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe, (3) the island of Oahu and all other islands not specifically enumerated, and (4) the islands of Kauai and Niihau, using the total number of permanent residents in each of the basic island units and computed by the method known as the method of equal proportions; except that no basic island unit shall receive less than one member in each house. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 2327 (1992) and election Nov 3, 1992]


Section 5. The representation of any basic island unit initially allocated less than a minimum of two senators and three representatives shall be augmented by allocating thereto the number of senators or representatives necessary to attain such minimums which number, notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 2 and 3 of Article III shall be added to the membership of the appropriate body until the next reapportionment. The senators or representatives of any basic island unit so augmented shall exercise a fractional vote wherein the numerator is the number initially allocated and the denominator is the minimum above specified. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 6. Upon the determination of the total number of members of each house of the state legislature to which each basic island unit is entitled, the commission shall apportion the members among the districts therein and shall redraw district lines where necessary in such manner that for each house the average number of permanent residents per member in each district is as nearly equal to the average for the basic island unit as practicable

In effecting such redistricting, the commission shall be guided by the following criteria:

  1. No district shall extend beyond the boundaries of any basic island unit.
  2. No district shall be so drawn as to unduly favor a person or political faction.
  3. Except in the case of districts encompassing more than one island, districts shall be contiguous.
  4. Insofar as practicable, districts shall be compact.
  5. Where possible, district lines shall follow permanent and easily recognized features, such as streets, streams and clear geographical features, and, when practicable, shall coincide with census tract boundaries.
  6. Where practicable, representative districts shall be wholly included within senatorial districts.
  7. Not more than four members shall be elected from any district.
  8. Where practicable, submergence of an area in a larger district wherein substantially different socio-economic interests predominate shall be avoided. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 2327 (1992) and election Nov 3, 1992]


Section 7. Regardless of whether or not a senator is serving a term which would have extended past the general election at which an apportionment plan becomes effective, the term of office of all senators shall end at that general election. The staggered terms of senators in each district shall be recomputed as established by the next section in this article, and the number of senators in a senatorial district under the reapportionment plan of the commission. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 2234 (1992) and election Nov 3, 1992]


Section 8. Any re-elected senator whose prior term was shortened to two years by the occurrence of the reapportionment year shall, after reapportionment, be assigned to serve a four- year term. Any new senator and re-elected senator whose prior term was not shortened by the occurrence of the reapportionment year shall, after reapportionment, be assigned to serve a two- year term

If the number of senators assigned to serve a two-year term under the previous paragraph exceeds twelve, the number of such senators shall be reduced to twelve by random selection as provided by law. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 572 (1987) and election Nov 8, 1988; am SB 2234 (1992) and election Nov 3, 1992]


Section 9. The commission shall, at such times as may be required by this article and as may be required by law of the United States, redraw congressional district lines for the districts from which the members of the United States House of Representatives allocated to this State by Congress are elected. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 10. Original jurisdiction is vested in the supreme court of the State to be exercised on the petition of any registered voter whereby it may compel, by mandamus or otherwise, the appropriate person or persons to perform their duty or to correct any error made in a reapportionment plan, or it may take such other action to effectuate the purposes of this section as it may deem appropriate. Any such petition shall be filed within forty-five days of the date specified for any duty or within forty-five days after the filing of a reapportionment plan. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


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An important victory in the fight for individual rights (as opposed to insurer rights) is the case of Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara. In that case on May 26, 2017, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the efforts of a health insurer who tried to convert its insurance coverage into a 'loan agreement' and recover its medical expense payments from Mr. Yukumoto when he had a 3rd party claim - in spite of the fact that he was not being fully compensated for his losses. This insidious insurance practice has been damaging the citizens and members of the Hawaii community for many years. For more info, see the decision here: Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. SCAP-15-0000460 (May 26, 2017).

The information provided in these pages is intended to be preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice by Injury Lawyer Hawaii nor may it be relied upon as such. The use of the Injury Attorney Hawaii webpages does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This page is Copyright Injury Attorney Hawaii 1999-2017 by Injury Attorney Hawaii All rights reserved. Its contents are the property of William H. Lawson-

Constitution of the State of Hawaii

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