Think About It: Full Disclosure... Not! - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 21, 2018

Think About It: Full Disclosure... Not!

Do you know how many really qualified, valuable people opt to not be part of important state boards and commissions? Neither do I; neither does anyone as we'll never know who has opted out due to the unnecessarily restrictive disclosure rules that have been in place for four years. When the rules were made more stringent, at least 25 dedicated, unpaid people quit major boards, including the UH Board of Regents, the Land Use Commission, Land & Natural Resources, and the Hawaii Housing, Finance & Development Corporation.

 

Well-meaning and ethical people don't mind a private ethics commission screening their finances, but making it available for the free world, as the rules now state, seems to be a bit over the top for volunteers. And that's our loss, as a community. When some of the best minds are sidelined by the legislature, the same people who trample all over ethics issues with their own self-serving votes, conflicts and decisions, something is amiss.

 

The House deferred a bill to roll back the most stringent disclosure requirements in the session's final week. Those against relaxation point to less transparency which could mean bad government, but is sharing one's entire family's finances with everyone really a fair and necessary alternative. Many thought this bill would pass, but it mysteriously died although both legislative bodies had similar bills moving ahead. And with its demise went 2018 hopes to bring more quality volunteers back into unpaid, vital, state boards and commissions. This oversight needs to be remedied without much thought in 2019.  Legislators all have their outside jobs, yet vote on just about everything, without much second thought to conflicts. This is all so wrong. Think about it…

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