By Cathy Renna – This memo summarizes current research about the potential impact on the State of Hawaii of HB444 HD1 SD1: Relating to Civil Unions on the state economy and budget.

See below for highlights, but the full document can be accessed at:

The Williams Institute estimates that between 569 and 1,285 same-sex couples will enter civil unions in the first four years that registration is available.

Over 20 studies conducted during the past 10 years, including by a number of state governments and the Congressional Budget Office, suggest that HB444 will have the following positive fiscal effects.

Our analysis is consistent with a recent analysis of the HB444 conducted by researchers at the University of Hawai’i showing measurable and positive effects. Civil unions will boost the economy of Hawai’i through increased spending and jobs.

Over 20 studies by academic institutions, governments, and trade industry associations have shown that recognizing same-sex couples is likely to increased spending in a state, creating jobs and tax revenues.

As same-sex couples enter civil unions, businesses in Hawaii will experience increased spending on civil union celebrations. We estimate that over four years, these couples will spend between $4.2 million to $9.5 million on their civil union celebrations.

This estimate is just of spending by the couples themselves. If out-of-state guest travel to these celebrations is similar to that of travel to weddings of same-sex couples in Massachusetts, out-of-state guests will spend between $17.8 million and $40.3 million in Hawai’i over four years on hotels, food, entertainment, and retail.

This estimate does not include the spending of in-state guests or the spending by all guests on gifts. This increase in spending by same-sex couples and their out-of-state guests will also lead to the creation of 193 to 333 new jobs in the state, most directly in businesses related to the travel and events.