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Posted: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 9:22 AM HST

Lawmakers, critics debate legislative transparency

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii leaders say one of the highlights of the 2013 legislative session was greater transparency in the lawmaking process. But critics say a lot more should be done.

Lawmakers passed eight of 18 bills criticized by watchdog groups for lack of transparency. Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and other organizations say the public wasn't given enough time to testify on the measures because of the way lawmakers changed the bills.

In one case, a bill was introduced to repeal the state's transportation commission. The final version also bans businesses that apply wheel boots to cars.

Advocates for good government say that the Hawaii Legislature should require more transparency during bill negotiations and that more notice should be given before lawmakers vote on amendments in committees.



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