What is Lobbying in Hawaii?

What is lobbying in Hawaii?

“Lobbying” means communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue. Read the additional details below.


Richard Onishi Case Study in Lobbyist Influence in Hawaii§97-1  Definitions.  When used in this chapter:

     “Administrative action” means the proposal, drafting, consideration, amendment, enactment, or defeat by any administrative agency of any rule or other action governed by section 91-3.

     “Administrative agency” means a commission, board, agency, or other body, or official in the state government that is not a part of the legislative or judicial branch.

     “Contribution” includes a gift, subscription, forgiveness of a loan, advance, or deposit of money, or anything of value and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not enforceable, to make a contribution.

     “Expenditure” includes a payment, distribution, forgiveness of a loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money, or anything of value and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not enforceable, to make an expenditure.  “Expenditure” also includes compensation or other consideration paid to a lobbyist for the performance of lobbying services.  “Expenditure” excludes any amounts expended:

     (1)  For intrastate travel costs, including incidental meals and lodging; provided that this exception does not apply to any amounts expended for the travel costs of state legislators, board and commission members, or any other employees of the State; or

     (2)  By a nonprofit organization to prepare and submit an application for a grant pursuant to chapter 42F, and for each of the nonprofit organization’s employees to lobby a maximum of ten hours in a month for that application.

     “Legislative action” means the sponsorship, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, enactment, or defeat of any bill, resolution, amendment, report, nomination, appointment, or any other matter pending or proposed in the legislature.

     “Lobbying” means communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.  “Lobbying” shall not include the preparation and submission of a grant application pursuant to chapter 42F by a representative of a nonprofit organization.

    “Lobbyist” means any individual who:

     (1)  Receives or expects to receive, either by employment or contract, $1,000 or more in monetary or in-kind compensation in any calendar year for engaging in lobbying, either personally or through the lobbyist’s agents; or

     (2)  For pay or other consideration, on behalf of another person:

          (A)  Engages in lobbying in excess of five hours in any month of any reporting period described in section 97-3;

          (B)  Engages in lobbying in excess of ten hours during any calendar year; or

          (C)  Makes expenditures of $1,000 or more of the person’s or any other person’s money lobbying during any reporting period described in section 97-3;

provided that an employee of a nonprofit organization who spends fewer than ten hours in any month lobbying on a grant application submitted pursuant to chapter 42F is not a lobbyist if the employee does not engage in lobbying on matters that are unrelated to the grant application.

     “Person” means a corporation, individual, union, association, firm, sole proprietorship, partnership, committee, club, or any other organization or a representative of a group of persons acting in concert. [L 1975, c 160, pt of §1; am L 1980, c 129, §1(a); am L 1982, c 105, §1; am L 1989, c 225, §1; am L 1995, c 220, §5; am L 2017, c 51, §2]


§97-2  Registration of lobbyists, requirements.  (a)  Every lobbyist shall file a registration form with the state ethics commission within five days of becoming a lobbyist.

     (b)  Each lobbyist shall provide and certify the following information:

     (1)  The name, mailing address, and business telephone number of the lobbyist.

     (2)  The name and principal place of business of each person by whom the lobbyist is retained or employed or on whose behalf the lobbyist appears or works and a written authorization to act as a lobbyist from each person by whom the lobbyist is employed or with whom the lobbyist contracts.

     (3)  The subject areas on which the lobbyist expects to lobby.

     (c)  A lobbyist shall report any change in any of the information contained in the registration statement within ten days after the change has occurred.

     (d)  A lobbyist shall file a notice of termination within ten days after the lobbyist ceases the activity that required the lobbyist’s registration.  If the lobbyist fails to file a notice of termination, the person who employed or contracted for the services of the lobbyist may file the notice.  The lobbyist and the person who employed or contracted for the services of the lobbyist shall remain subject, however, to the requirements of this chapter for the period during which the registration was effective.

     (e)  This chapter shall not apply to:

     (1)  Any individual who represents oneself and not any other person before the legislature or administrative agency; provided that the individual shall file a statement of expenditures if the individual meets any of the provisions of section 97-3(a);

     (2)  Any federal, state, or county official or employee acting in the official’s or employee’s official capacity, unless the federal, state or county official, or employee contracts for the services of a lobbyist;

     (3)  Any elected public official acting in the public official’s official capacity, unless the public official contracts for the services of a lobbyist;

     (4)  Any newspaper or other regularly published periodical or radio or television station, including any individual who owns, publishes, or is employed by a newspaper or periodical or radio or television station, while publishing in the regular course of business news items, editorials, or other comments, or paid advertisements, which directly or indirectly urge the passage or defeat of legislative or administrative action;

     (5)  Any attorney who advises the attorney’s clients on the construction or effect of proposed legislative or administrative action; provided that such attorney shall register if the attorney meets the definition of “lobbyist” as defined in section 97-1; and

     (6)  Any person who possesses special skills and knowledge relevant to certain areas of legislation, whose skills and knowledge may be helpful to the legislative and executive branches of state government, and who makes an occasional appearance at the request of the legislature or an administrative agency, or the lobbyist even though receiving reimbursement or other payment from the legislature or administrative agency or the lobbyist for the appearance. [L 1975, c 160, pt of §1; am L 1980, c 129, §1(b); am L 1982, c 105, §2; gen ch 1985; am L 1992, c 53, §1; am L 2017, c 51, §3]

Laws change. Read the latest Hawaii Revised Statutes before taking any action based on this web page. Richard Onishi is not the only candidate using Tobacco, Alcohol and Pesticide Seed money. The good ole boy network has many heads. From dozens of department heads to the managing director of Hawaii Island. Political influencers also include many church and cult leaders currently operating as non-profits. We’ll be providing updates on the non-profit board of directors in upcoming releases.