Sunshine Law

 

The Sunshine Law is Hawaii’s open meetings law. It governs the manner in which all state and county boards must conduct their official business. The Office of Information Practices (“OIP”) has been the agency in charge of administering the Sunshine Law since 1998.

The Sunshine Law is codified at part I of chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes. See below for an unofficial version of the law.

The Law

Sunshine Law unofficial version with Act 220 (Contains Act 220 amendments that are effective 1/1/2022)

Act 220, SLH 2021 (SB 1034, SD1, HD2, CD 1)  Relating to Sunshine Boards (effective January 1, 2022):

Senate Bill 1034, S.D.1, H.D. 2, C.D. 1, relating to Sunshine Law Boards, was passed by the Legislature on April 27, 2021 and signed into law as Act 220 by Governor David Ige on July 6, 2021.  This landmark legislation amended Hawaii’s Sunshine Law, effective January 1, 2022, to allow public meetings to be remotely conducted while still requiring at least one in-person meeting location for those unable or unwilling to participate online.

The bill was originally introduced as an Administration measure based on OIP’s proposal developed after months of consultation and review with boards and the public.  OIP has compiled the bill’s legislative history, along with the initial drafts of OIP’s earlier proposal.  OIP has also prepared a summary of the new law and has developed training materials regarding the amended Sunshine Law.


NOTE: the Sunshine Law had been partially suspended since early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 emergency through a series of emergency proclamations issued by Governor David Ige.  The last emergency proclamation containing a Sunshine Law suspension expired on March 25, 2022.  

The Sunshine Law, including all of Act 220, SLH 2021, is now in full effect.  OIP cannot accept appeals based on causes of action dependent on alleged violations of the portions of the Sunshine Law that were suspended and not in effect.