Section 1. The legislative power of the State shall be vested in a legislature, which shall consist of two houses, a senate and a house of representatives. Such power shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with this constitution or the Constitution of the United States.
COMPOSITION OF SENATE
Section 2. The senate shall be composed of twenty-five members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the respective senatorial districts. Until the next reapportionment the senatorial districts and the number of senators to be elected from each shall be as set forth in the Schedule. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
COMPOSITION OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Section 3. The house of representatives shall be composed of fifty-one members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of the respective representative districts. Until the next reapportionment, the representative districts and the number of representatives to be elected from each shall be as set forth in the Schedule. [Am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
ELECTION OF MEMBERS; TERM
Section 4. Each member of the legislature shall be elected at an election. If more than one candidate has been nominated for election to a seat in the legislature, the member occupying that seat shall be elected at a general election. If a candidate nominated for a seat at a primary election is unopposed for that seat at the general election, the candidate shall be deemed elected at the primary election. The term of office of a member of the house of representatives shall be two years and the term of office of a member of the senate shall be four years. The term of a member of the legislature shall begin on the day of the general election at which elected or if elected at a primary election, on the day of the general election immediately following the primary election at which elected. For a member of the house of representatives, the terms shall end on the day of the general election immediately following the day the member's term commences. For a member of the senate, the term shall end on the day of the second general election immediately following the day the member's term commences. [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 572 (1987) and election Nov 8, 1988]
Section 5. Any vacancy in the legislature shall be filled for the unexpired term in such manner as may be provided by law, or, if no provision be made by law, by appointment by the governor for the unexpired term. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS
Section 6. No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the senate unless the person has been a resident of the State for not less than three years, has attained the age of majority and is, prior to filing nomination papers and thereafter continues to be, a qualified voter of the senatorial district from which the person seeks to be elected; except that in the year of the first general election following reapportionment, but prior to the primary election, an incumbent senator may move to a new district without being disqualified from completing the remainder of the incumbent senator's term. No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the house of representatives unless the person has been a resident of the State for not less than three years, has attained the age of majority and is, prior to filing nomination papers and thereafter continues to be, a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected; except that in the year of the first general election following reapportionment, but prior to the primary election, an incumbent representative may move to a new district without being disqualified from completing the remainder of the incumbent representative's term. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 1012 (2002) and election Nov 5, 2002]
PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERS
Section 7. No member of the legislature shall be held to answer before any other tribunal for any statement made or action taken in the exercise of the member's legislative functions; and members of the legislature shall, in all cases except felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
DISQUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS
Section 8. No member of the legislature shall hold any other public office under the State, nor shall the member, during the term for which the member is elected or appointed, be elected or appointed to any public office or employment which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, by legislative act during such term. The term "public offices," for the purposes of this section, shall not include notaries public, reserve police officers or officers of emergency organizations for civilian defense or disaster relief. The legislature may prescribe further disqualifications. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
SALARY; ALLOWANCES; COMMISSION ON LEGISLATIVE SALARY
Section 9. The members of the legislature shall receive allowances reasonably related to expenses as provided by law, and a salary prescribed by the commission on legislative salaries pursuant to this section which shall be payable in installments and at such times as provided by law.
There shall be a commission on legislative salary, which shall be appointed by the governor on or before November 30, 1978, and every eight years thereafter. Not later than the fortieth legislative day of the 1979 regular legislative session and every eight years thereafter, the commission shall submit to the legislature and the governor recommendations for a salary for members of the legislature, and then dissolve. The recommended salary submitted shall become effective as provided in the recommendation unless the legislature disapproves the recommendation by adoption of a concurrent resolution prior to adjournment sine die of the legislative session in which the recommendation is submitted or the governor disapproves the recommendation by a message of disapproval transmitted to the legislature prior to such adjournment. Any change in salary which becomes effective shall not apply to the legislature to which the recommendation for the change in salary was submitted. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 2072 (1984) and election Nov 6, 1984]
Section 10. The legislature shall convene annually in regular session at 10:00 o'clock a.m. on the third Wednesday in January.
At the written request of two-thirds of the members to which each house is entitled, the presiding officers of both houses shall convene the legislature in special session. At the written request of two-thirds of the members of the senate, the president of the senate shall convene the senate in special session for the purpose of carrying out its responsibility established by Section 3 of Article VI. The governor may convene both houses or the senate alone in special session.
Regular sessions shall be limited to a period of sixty days, and special sessions shall be limited to a period of thirty days. Any session may be extended a total of not more than fifteen days. Such extension shall be granted by the presiding officers of both houses at the written request of two-thirds of the members to which each house is entitled or may be granted by the governor.
Each regular session shall be recessed for not less than five days at some period between the twentieth and fortieth days of the regular session. The legislature shall determine the dates of the mandatory recess by concurrent resolution. Any session may be recessed by concurrent resolution adopted by a majority of the members to which each house is entitled. Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, the days in mandatory recess and any days in recess pursuant to a concurrent resolution shall be excluded in computing the number of days of any session.
All sessions shall be held in the capital of the State. In case the capital shall be unsafe, the governor may direct that any session be held at some other place. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 1973 (1980) and election Nov 4, 1980]
Section 11. Neither house shall adjourn during any session of the legislature for more than three days, or sine die, without the consent of the other. [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
ORGANIZATION; DISCIPLINE; RULES; PROCEDURE
Section 12. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members and shall have, for misconduct, disorderly behavior or neglect of duty of any member, power to punish such member by censure or, upon a two-thirds vote of all the members to which such house is entitled, by suspension or expulsion of such member. Each house shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its proceedings and keep a journal. The ayes and noes of the members on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered upon the journal.
Twenty days after a bill has been referred to a committee in either house, the bill may be recalled from such committee by the affirmative vote of one-third of the members to which such house is entitled.
Every meeting of a committee in either house or of a committee comprised of a member or members from both houses held for the purpose of making decision on matters referred to the committee shall be open to the public.
By rule of its proceedings, applicable to both houses, each house shall provide for the date by which all bills to be considered in a regular session shall be introduced. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am HB 1947 (1984) and election Nov 6, 1984]
QUORUM; COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE
Section 13. A majority of the number of members to which each house is entitled shall constitute a quorum of such house for the conduct of ordinary business, of which quorum a majority vote shall suffice; but the final passage of a bill in each house shall require the vote of a majority of all the members to which such house is entitled, taken by ayes and noes and entered upon its journal. A smaller number than a quorum may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
Section 14. No law shall be passed except by bill. Each law shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. The enacting clause of each law shall be, "Be it enacted by the legislature of the State of Hawaii." [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
PASSAGE OF BILLS
Section 15. No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each house on separate days. No bill shall pass third or final reading in either house unless printed copies of the bill in the form to be passed shall have been made available to the members of that house for at least forty-eight hours.
Every bill when passed by the house in which it originated, or in which amendments thereto shall have originated, shall immediately be certified by the presiding officer and clerk and sent to the other house for consideration.
Any bill pending at the final adjournment of a regular session in an odd-numbered year shall carry over with the same status to the next regular session. Before the carried-over bill is enacted, it shall pass at least one reading in the house in which the bill originated. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
APPROVAL OR VETO
Section 16. Every bill which shall have passed the legislature shall be certified by the presiding officers and clerks of both houses and shall thereupon be presented to the governor. If the governor approves it, the governor shall sign it and it shall become law. If the governor does not approve such bill, the governor may return it, with the governor's objections to the legislature. Except for items appropriated to be expended by the judicial and legislative branches, the governor may veto any specific item or items in any bill which appropriates money for specific purposes by striking out or reducing the same; but the governor shall veto other bills, if at all, only as a whole.
The governor shall have ten days to consider bills presented to the governor ten or more days before the adjournment of the legislature sine die, and if any such bill is neither signed nor returned by the governor within that time, it shall become law in like manner as if the governor had signed it.
RECONSIDERATION AFTER ADJOURNMENT
The governor shall have forty-five days, after the adjournment of the legislature sine die, to consider bills presented to the governor less than ten days before such adjournment, or presented after adjournment, and any such bill shall become law on the forty-fifth day unless the governor by proclamation shall have given ten days' notice to the legislature that the governor plans to return such bill with the governor's objections on that day. The legislature may convene at or before noon on the forty-fifth day in special session, without call, for the sole purpose of acting upon any such bill returned by the governor. In case the legislature shall fail to so convene, such bill shall not become law. Any such bill may be amended to meet the governor's objections and, if so amended and passed, only one reading being required in each house for such passage, it shall be presented again to the governor, but shall become law only if the governor shall sign it within ten days after presentation.
In computing the number of days designated in this section, the following days shall be excluded: Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and any days in which the legislature is in recess prior to its adjournment as provided in section 10 of this article. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; am SB 1943-74 (1974) and election Nov 5, 1974; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
PROCEDURES UPON VETO
Section 17. Upon the receipt of a veto message from the governor, each house shall enter the same at large upon its journal and proceed to reconsider the vetoed bill, or the item or items vetoed, and again vote upon such bill, or such item or items, by ayes and noes, which shall be entered upon its journal. If after such reconsideration such bill, or such item or items, shall be approved by a two-thirds vote of all members to which each house is entitled, the same shall become law. [Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
PUNISHMENT OF NONMEMBERS
Section 18. Each house may punish by fine, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, any person not a member of either house who shall be guilty of disrespect of such house by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence or that of any committee thereof; or who shall, on account of the exercise of any legislative function, threaten harm to the body or estate of any of the members of such house; or who shall assault, arrest or detain any witness or other person ordered to attend such house, on the witness' or other person's way going to or returning therefrom; or who shall rescue any person arrested by order of such house.
Any person charged with such an offense shall be informed in writing of the charge made against the person and have opportunity to present evidence and be heard in the person's own defense. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]
Section 19. The governor and lieutenant governor, and any appointive officer for whose removal the consent of the senate is required, may be removed from office upon conviction of impeachment for such causes as may be provided by law.
The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment of the governor and lieutenant governor and the senate the sole power to try such impeachments, and no such officer shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the members of the senate shall be on oath or affirmation and the chief justice shall preside. Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, the legislature may provide for the manner and procedure of removal by impeachment of such officers.
The legislature shall by law provide for the manner and procedure of removal by impeachment of the appointive officers.
Judgments in cases of impeachment shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the State; but the person convicted may nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment as provided by law. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]