BY MATTHEW BALKIN – A highly controversial bill that would allow legislators to accept unlimited meals and other gifts from lobbyist got changed to a much less objectionable for.
SB 671 would remove a whole slew of rules involving legislators accepting gifts and other contributions from lobbyists. In the further amended version legislators are only allowed to accept invitations to nonprofit organizations that do not receive any state funding.
This bill will also be further reviewed by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, which meets on March 16th. I am glad to see that this bill which may have had dire consequences is being amended to reign in potential corruption.
Matt Balkin wrote this for HawaiiSenateWatchdog.org – a web site managed by the office of Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom.