Hawaii lawmakers gut and replace contents of bills


HONOLULU — A series of bills that lawmakers passed in the Hawaii Senate were drafted without allowing the public a chance to weigh in.

The maneuver is called “gut-and-replace” and it happens when a bill is stripped of its original content and replaced with something entirely different.

Democratic Sen. Les Ihara says the practice is disdained by the public. He says it leads to distrust of the legislative process.

In one maneuver, senators tacked two Senate bills — one of which died in the House — onto a barely-related House agriculture bill. The additions suggest spending state money to develop programs on property owned by Dole Food Company, according to property records.

The League of Women Voters counts about 10 gut-and-replace bills and says the technique was widely used this year.