Hawaii State Legislature

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The Hawaii state legislature is made up of an upper chamber, 25-member Hawaii State Senate and a lower chamber 51-member Hawaii State House of Representatives. State senators are elected for two years and led by the President of the Senate. State representatives are elected for two years and led by the Speaker of the House. Legislators are not subject to term limits.

The state legislature convenes annually in the State Capital Building in downtown Honolulu for a 60-day session. The governor can extend legislative sessions for 30 days and may also convene 30-day special sessions. The legislature may extend sessions for up to 15 days.

The state legislature's main purpose is to establish laws and conduct hearings to research what laws are needed in the state. The legislature confirms the governor's appointments. The legislature can propose amendments to the Hawaii State Constitution, which are subject to public vote.

In 1969 Hawaii installed the first ombudsman in the United States elected by any state legislature. The Hawaii State Ombudsman independently and impartially investigates complaints against state and county agencies and employees. The Ombudsman is an officer of the legislature who investigates complaints about actions of executive branch agencies of the state and county governments. The Ombudsman office has the power to obtain necessary information for an investigation and to recommend corrective action if a complaint is found to be substantiated. The ombudsman may serve a maximum of three six-year terms.

The Legislative Reference Bureau assists the Hawai`i State Legislature by providing impartial research, consultation, and document drafting services, maintaining a research library, statutes revision and publication, operating a computerized legislative information system, and providing resources to enhance public participation in the legislative process.

Members of Past Legislatures and present

Tables of Members of the Hawaii State Legislature

External Links

  • Hawaii State Legislature -- Legislative Information (State of Hawaii)
  • A Citizen's Guide to the Legislative Process (State of Hawaii)
  • Office of the Ombudsman -- State of Hawaii (State of Hawaii)
  • Legislative Reference Bureau (State of Hawaii)
  • Bunda to remain president of Senate (Honolulu Advertiser, 11-6-04)
  • Hawaii: Women in Elective Office - Historical Summary (Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers)
  • Legislature overturns a dozen Lingle vetoes, tying a record (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7-13-05)
  • New environmental laws praised (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7-4-05)
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