HCB: ‘Abercrombie Decides Not to Veto Public Financial Disclosure Bill’

By Nathan Eagle
Honolulu Civil Beat
1 July 2014

The Hawaii law will take effect July 8, but questions over how it will apply to existing board members remain unanswered.

The public can expect a much closer look at the financial interests of powerful state board members after Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s decision Monday to not veto a disclosure bill that has already been cited as the reason for two resignations.

The governor sent Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joe Souki a letter saying he will let the measure become law July 8 without his signature.

Senate Bill 2682, which the Legislature unanimously passed in April, was one of 10 bills that Abercrombie put on his intent-to-veto list June 23.

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“There are tough issues to be considered in this bill with competing values: Legitimate inquiry into possible conflicts regarding the public interest versus legitimate concerns about personal information on family, finances, credit history and medical records becoming cannon fodder in political battles,” Abercrombie wrote.

“It seems reasonable in these circumstances then, to allow this bill to become law with the object of reviewing the disclosure documents to determine what information serves the public interest, what limitations are relevant and most importantly, what constitutes conflict. The issue then, is not about disclosure, but to what end and by what means.”

Good-government groups, which came down hard on Abercrombie for considering a veto, heralded the news.

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