Becoming an effective citizen activist, you must learn how to track a measure you’re interested in, and that requires knowing how our State Legislature works.  Here are the steps you can take to prepare yourself for the Legislative session.

Step 1 – Hawaii State Legislature: A Quick Overview. The government of the State of Hawaii is structured with a system of checks and balances so that power is not confined to just one branch. There are three separate but equal branches whose powers are outlined in the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.

Know your State government

Step 2 – Create your account on the Legislature’s website that will allow you to track measures and submit vital testimony.

Register for an Account on the Legislature’s Website

Step 3 – Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Legislature’s website.

Hawaii Legislature Website Guide ~ A Gateway to the Capitol

Step 4 – Familiarize yourself with how a bill or resolution are handled.  Also learn how to use the Measure Tracking Tool to allow you to follow those bills or resolutions you’re interested in.

What does it take for a bill to become law?

Exploring Resolution

How to create a Measure Tracking List

Step 5 – Sign up to receive email notification of upcoming committee hearings.  This is a great way to be made aware when a measure you’re interested in is going to receive a committee hearing so that you can submit testimony and/or attend the hearing to testify in person.

Receive Hearing Notices via Email

Step 6 – Learn how to write and submit testimony online.

How to Write Testimony

Submit Testimony Online


Addendum 1 – A Participant’s Guide: Organization & Function of the Legislature

Addendum 2 A Participant’s Guide: Walk through Session

Addendum 3 – How a Bill Becomes Law in Hawaii

Addendum 4Anatomy of a Bill

Other References