Lobbying in Hawaiʻi

Are You Required to Register as a Lobbyist?

According to State of Hawai‘i law, an individual must register as a lobbyist if the individual is paid or otherwise receives consideration or compensation for his or her lobbying services, whether by fee, retainer, or salary (or portion thereof), AND if he or she meets either of the following two criteria:

  1. Spends more than $1000 lobbying during a six-month reporting period.
  2. Spends more than five hours in any month of any six-month reporting period lobbying.
    If an individual lobbies but receives no compensation for the lobbying services rendered, the individual is not required to register as a lobbyist.

However, if the individual meets either one of the above two criteria and is a salaried (or otherwise compensated) employee of an organization or business and is lobbying as part of the individual’s employment, he or she is required to register as a lobbyist with the State Ethics Commission.

Can nonprofit charitable organizations engage in political activity?

In this video resource, attorney Hugh Jones joins producer/host Coralie Chun Matayoshi discuss:

  • What qualifies as a charitable purpose under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • What kinds of forms you need to fill out to obtain tax exempt status
  • What’s the difference between a public charity and private foundation
  • Whether tax exempt charities can engage in lobbying or political activities
  • How far churches can go in lobbying against issues like abortion and euthanasia, and
  • How playing politics contributed to the removal of all 5 Bishop Estate trustees 20 years ago