Sandy Ma, Common Cause, Webinar and Status of Bills

5 mins read

Sandy Ma
Exec Director,
Common Cause Hawaii

Democracy in Hawai`i:
Post 2021 Legislative Session and Going Forward

Democracy in Hawai`i:
Post 2021 Legislative Session and Going Forward

When: Thursday, June 24, 2pm HST

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  • How healthy is our democracy in Hawai`i
  • What actions were taken by the 2021 Legislature to improve democracy in Hawai`i
  • What more can be done by the Legislature to improve democracy in Hawai`i


  • Senator Karl Rhoads, who represents Urban Honolulu. In 2021, Senator Rhoads served as Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and was a member of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Housing. He was first elected to the House of Representatives and then elected to the Senate in 2017.
  • Senator Chris Lee, who represents Windward Oahu. In 2021, Senator Lee served as Chair of the Committee on Transportation and was a member on the Committees on Judiciary, and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism. He was first elected to the House of Representatives and then elected to the Senate in 2020.
  • Representative Della Au Belatti, who represents the Makakiki and McCully area. Representative Belatti is the House Majority Leader


You did it! Today (Monday, June 21, 2021) was Gov. Ige’s deadline to announce his intent to veto list. Common Cause Hawaii had an amazing 2021 session because of activist volunteers like you! None of our bills was on the Gov.’s intent to veto list:

  • SB159, Automatic Voter Registration
  • SB548, Vote By Mail improvements such as requiring those on probation and parole to be informed of how to register to vote and how to vote, ballots to be mailed 18 days prior to election day, and identification of where to site and number of voter service centers and drop boxes  
  • SB1034, Changes to our Sunshine Law to allow for remote testimony
  • HB670, Pension forfeiture for government employees who are convicted of committing job related felonies
  • HB671, 12 month cooling off period for department heads and legislators who leave their positions
  • SB400, Clarifies that increased fines may apply if a candidate committee or noncandidate committee fails to timely file the preliminary primary or preliminary general report due ten calendar days before a primary or general election.
  • SB402, Provides that expenditures by candidate committees may be made to reimburse other individuals for expenditures advanced by those individuals, in addition to those advanced by the candidate.
  • SB405, Provides that excess contributions by nonresident contributors shall escheat to the Hawaii election.
  • SB939, Recognizing Juneteenth (Bill Signing happened on Wed., June 16, 2021)A bill we asked the Gov. to veto is on his intent to veto list! This doesn’t mean that he will actually veto it but it is on his list. 
  • SB404, Excludes candidate and candidate committees from the disclosure requirements. Applies beginning with the 2022 primary election.Thank you for your hard work to move these bills — for your countless testimonies, emails, calls, and more – to ensure that they will become to benefit transparency, ethics, and accountability. You spoke and our elected officials listened. You are democracy in action. Thank you!

As the Executive Director of Common Cause Hawaii, Sandy leads campaigns, fundraising, and engages local, state, and national organizations in building coalitions around Hawaii, focusing on ethics and accountability, money and influence, and voting and elections.Sandy comes to the organization with a broad range of nonprofit, corporate, and government experience. She previously was an ACLU attorney in North Carolina and Hawaii. She most recently worked with the Hawaii Office of Planning in the Coastal Zone Management Program, focusing on climate change, sea level rise, and coastal hazard issues. 


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Indivisible Hawaii brings the fight to save our democracy to nearly 400 of our friends and neighbors on Oahu plus members through the Indivisible Hawaii Statewide Network chapters on Kauai, Maui County and Hawaii Island.

Indivisible Hawaii is a pro-democracy citizen activist group whose mission is to protect and enhance the institutions of democracy in our Country and our State. We seek to resist Trumpism by engaging our elected officials at all levels of government and promote progressive and democratic values.

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