Study Title / Description
Constitutional Convention Organization and Procedures
The Constitution of the State of Hawaii in section 1 of Article XV
provides two methods for initiating amendments to or revising the
One method is through amendments proposed by the legislature.
The second way to initiate constitutional change is through the
constitutional convention method. The same number of delegates to the
convention, who shall be elected from the same areas, and the convention
shall be convened in the same manner and have the same powers and
privileges as nearly as practicable, as provided for the Constitution of
Introduction and Articles Summaries
The Hawaii Constitutional Studies 1978 were undertaken at the direction
of the legislature and are an attempt to present in understandable form
many of the possible issues and the arguments on both sides of such
issues that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1978 may
wish to consider.
Bill of Rights, Article I
The Bill of Rights is one of the "core" areas found in all state
constitutions, as well as the U . S . Constitution. Traditionally, the
purpose of the Bill of Rights has been to protect individuals and
minorities against the excesses of government, in other words, to act as
a restraint upon government. action.' In the twentieth century,
particularly since the 1930's, the government has been increasingly
viewed as a provider of services and economic security, and there has
been a concomitant demand for new social and economic rights--to medical
care, housing, education, and employment. However, the Bill of Rights in
Hawaii, as elsewhere, has remained largely a source of negative claims
against government interference rather than a source of positive claims
upon the government.
Suffrage and Elections, Article II
The right of suffrage (also called the right of franchise) is, simply
stated, the right to vote. In a democratic society, a citizen's main
check on government is through the voting process. The voting process is
commonly termed an election. It is here that one may directly
participate in the selection of those who exercise the power of government.
The Legislature (v.1), Article III
State legislative authority is residual; legislatures possess all powers
not denied by the national constitution nor denied by the individual
state constitutions. Most state constitutions contain numerous
restrictions on legislative authority. Limitations are inserted not only
in the legislative article but are also scattered throughout the
constitution. This is not the case in Hawaii.
Reapportionment in Hawaii (v.2), Article III
The problems involved in reapportionment are basic to the character of
democratic government. The method of apportioning the number of elected
officials and dividing political units into districts provides the
framework for the selection of legislative representatives.
The Executive, Article IV
Current discussions in the literature and recent state constitutional
revision indicate that the major issue relating to the executive branch
is the increasing executive power and centralizing of authority in the
office of the governor. Markedly different historical experiences have
produced a difference in perspective on this issue between Hawaii and
most mainland states.
The Judiciary, Article V
A fundamental function of every state is to preserve itself and its
citizens from internal danger.' The state must protect itself from
internal breaches of the peace such as assault and battery or treason.
It must also prevent the undermining of the social order by keeping open
the avenues of social progress, including the adjudication of disputes
between citizens. It is in this process that the courts play a prominent
Taxation and Finance, Article VI
Compared with provisions in other state constitutions, Hawaii's
constitutional article on taxation and finance is a model in simplicity.
By and large, it deals with fundamental questions and is free of
detailed prescriptions and restrictions, thereby providing the executive
and the legislature with substantial latitude and flexibiiity in
formulating taxation and finance policies.
Local Government, Article VII
Throughout the United States local government is a recognized necessity
for effective democracy. It is necessary for 3 reasons. First, it serves
as a government arm, administering the laws and directives of the state
and federal governments. Second, it is responsible for handling local
community problems and providing local services. Third, local government
works with other government agencies to consolidate traditional
Public Health and Welfare , Article VIII
Public attention and debate have focused on social services programs
during the last 10 years. This attention reflects the direct or indirect
impact of social programs on a significant number of individuals in this
state and the nation. Reports on program increases, cost overruns, and
ultimately, program ineffectiveness have left public officials and
private citizens questioning governmental responsibility in this area.
Education, Article IX (PDF,
What are the state's reponsibilities for education and how are they to
be carried out? Since the U.S. Constitution contains no explicit
statement on education, authorities believe that education is a state
responsibility. This belief is based on the Tenth Amendment to the U. S.
The responsibility for education is considered to be within the
"reserved powers" of the state. Within the limits of other U.S.
constitutional requirements : each of the states are sovereign in
Conservation and Development of Resources , Article X; Hawaiian Home
Lands, Article XI (PDF 5MB)
In the face of abundance, there is little incentive for prudence. But
inevitably, when demand approaches supply, there is a sober
reevaluation. Management of that supply, and control of the demand,
become crucial. Hawaii is just beginning to face the dangers of a growth
rate that may soon overtake the capacity of limited resources. The
competition for water, land, open space, minerals, the fruits of the
ocean...delivers the ultimatum : manage it wisely or lose it.
Article XI involves two distinct sets of concerns. First, is the
historical background of the use and ownership of land in Hawaii, and
its relationship to the Hawaiian People. Related, is the decline in
numbers of Hawaiians, and their unfavorable position on the
socio-economic ladder. Historical injustice and the obligation to
correct it is a continuous theme.
Second, are the measures adopted to deal with the aforementioned
situation. Here the focus is on legality, the constitutionality of
certain provisions in Hawaii's Constitution, the ability of the state to
effect changes in policy, and the need for continued federal approval.
Organization; Collective Bargaining, Article XII
The purpose of this report is to provide delegates to the 1978
Constitutional Convention with background materials related to employee
organization and collective bargaining; special emphasis is placed on
developments in the public sector in light of the current attention
directed to this area.
State Boundaries, Capital, Flag, Article XIII;
General and Miscellaneous Provisions, Article XIV
Of the 50 states, 37 have a general or miscellaneous article as part of
their constitution. The diversity of subject areas covered in such an
article is extensive. It is without a doubt, the rug of the constitution
under which all the disparate and distinctive provisions are swept. Such
an article contains all of those diverse and unrelated subjects whose
arrangement in a single catch-all article is preferable to inclusion in
the constitution of a number of separate articles consisting of only one
or two relatively short sections.
Revision and Amendment, Article XV
This volume addresses itself to the basic question concerning what
constitutional changes mean. Related issues arise concerning (1) whether
there are any meaningful patterns of constitutional change that link the
states together; (2) whether state constitutions are becoming more
attuned to the needs of twentieth century urban life as opposed to
remaining anachronistic as some political scientists have argued; and
(3) whether the people are acquiring more or less control over their
destinies through changes in their state constitutions.