14 resign from state boards over new financial-disclosure law
HONOLULU — At least 14 people have resigned from state boards and commissions because of a new financial-disclosure bill, including more than a quarter of the members of the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that four members of the 15-member Board of Regents have resigned in the last month over the bill (SB 2682), which Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he would let become law Tuesday without his signature.
The bill will make publicly available the annual financial-disclosure statements of people serving on more than a dozen state boards and commissions. The disclosure forms include information on income, investments, debt and real estate holdings.
Besides the four regents, other resignations have come from five people on the nine-member state Land Use Commission. The governor’s office on Monday received five additional resignation letters covering other boards.
The bill was unanimously approved by the Legislature, but Abercrombie included it on a list of bills he would potentially veto. After revealing his decision to allow the bill to become law, Abercrombie encouraged people to apply for vacancies the new standards would create.
“In the end it’s real straightforward: I’m somewhat of a private person in the sense that whatever my personal circumstances are, our family believes that’s our business,” said Carl Carlson, one of the university regents who resigned. “The Legislature went ahead and passed the bill with good intent. But I don’t agree with it, and because I don’t agree, I’m just not in a position to continue my public service at the state level.”