By Derrick DePledge
The state Senate on Tuesday sent two bills that could have adjusted the criteria for candidates to run for the Legislature back to committee, essentially killing the bills this session.
One bill would have made it easier for political parties to ensure that candidates are eligible to run under party banners, a response to situations last year involving Laura Thielen, who won a state Senate seat, and Chris Manabat, who lost a state House seat. The Democratic Party of Hawaii had questioned whether they were eligible to run as Democrats.
Another bill called for a constitutional amendment that would have asked voters whether candidates should be residents of Hawaii for five years and residents of the legislative districts they want to represent for one year before running for House or Senate. Existing law requires that candidates be residents of Hawaii for three years before they can run for office.
The state House, meanwhile, recommitted a bill that would have imposed a fee on single-use plastic bags to help finance watershed protection.