How Hawaii'S State Government Works
Everything you need to know about Hawaii's state government.
Hawaii is officially the last of the United States to become a part of the Union. The constitution was first drafted in 1950. That means that leaders on the group of islands have been able to take what works for other states and use it in their home state. At the same time, leaders have learned from mistakes made by others and have avoided encountering the same problems.
There are only two levels of Hawaii's leadership. State and County. By only having these two levels, Hawaii is said to be run efficiently.
Hawaii's state legislatrue has 76 members. That breaks down to 51 elected seats in the House of Representatives and 25 seats in the Senate. The districts are not necessarily broken down by island, but rather by populatoin and geography. For example, part of Maui's senatorial district number Five and representative district number Nine share one member from both Lania and Molokai.
Oahu, Hawaii's most populated island, has the largest number of voters and in turn has the most political representatives.
Hawaii is separated into four administrative units.
1. The County of Kauai. This covers Kauai and Niihau.
2. The City and County of Honolulu. This includes Oahu and all of the northwestern Hawaiian islands.
3. The County of Hawaii. This includes everything on the big island of Hawaii.
4. County of Maui: This county deals wtih the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and the uninhabited island Kahoolawe. The county seat is in Wailuku on Maui.
What are the Branches of Government?
1.The legislative branch: The House of Represenative and Senate members meet during a once a year session that starts on the third week of January and lasts for 90 workind days. Legislators primarily focus on taxes, new laws and appropriations.
2. The Executive Branch: Headed by the governor and lieutenant governor. Both are elected every four years with a two term minimum.
3. Heads of State: 20 are appointed by the governor and are approved by the Senate.
4. Judiciary: Includes a supreme court with five justices, an appeals court, four circuit courts. These positions are appointed. There are also 27 district courts. These judges are appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court.
1. Department of Education
2. Office of Hawaiian Affairs
3. Native Hawaiian Rights Group