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Ka ‘Aha Kenekoa
|Hawaii State Legislature|
New session started
|January 20, 2021|
Length of term
|Authority||Article III, Constitution of Hawaii|
|Salary||$57,852 per year + |
$175 per diem for non-Oʻahu members, or
$10 per diem for Oʻahu members (2014)
|November 3, 2020|
|November 8, 2022|
|Redistricting||Hawaii Reapportionment Commission|
|State Senate Chamber|
Hawaii State Capitol
The Hawaii Senate is the upper house of the Hawaii State Legislature. It consists of twenty-five members elected from an equal number of constituent districts across the islands and is led by the President of the Senate, elected from the membership of the body, currently Ron Kouchi. The forerunner of the Hawaii Senate during the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii was the House of Nobles originated in 1840. In 1894, the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii renamed the upper house the present senate. Senators are elected to four-year terms and are not subject to term limits.
Like most state legislatures in the United States, the Hawaii State Senate is a part-time body and senators often have active careers outside government. The lower house of the legislature is the Hawaii House of Representatives. The membership of the Senate also elects additional officers to include the Senate Vice President, Senate Chief Clerk, Assistant Chief Clerk, Senate Sergeant at Arms, and Assistant Sergeant at Arms. The Hawaii Senate convenes in the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu.
The Democrats have controlled the chamber since 1963, and have held a supermajority since 1984.
From 2016 (when Sen. Sam Slom, Hawaii's sole Republican state Senator, was defeated in his bid for reelection) to 2018, the Democratic Party held all 25 seats in the Hawaii Senate. This made the Hawaii Senate the only state legislative chamber with no opposition members (this excludes the officially nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature). It was the first time since 1980 (when both the Alabama Senate and Louisiana Senate were all-Democratic) that any state legislative chamber had been completely dominated by a single party.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature (2020)||24||1||25||0|
|Latest voting share||96%||4%|
|President of the Senate||Ron Kouchi||Democratic||8|
|Majority Leader||Dru Kanuha||Democratic||3|
|Minority Leader||Kurt Fevella||Republican||19|
|Chief Clerk||Carol T. Taniguchi|
|Assistant Chief Clerk||Jennifer T. Chow|
|Sergeant at Arms||Bienvenido C. Villaflor|
|Assistant Sergeant at Arms||C.M. Park Kaleiwahea|
List of current members
|2||Joy San Buenaventura||Dem||Puna, Kaʻū|
|3||Dru Kanuha||Dem||Kona, Kaʻū|
|4||Lorraine Inouye||Dem||Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikōloa, Kona|
|5||Gilbert Keith-Agaran[Note 1]||Dem||Maui||Wailuku, Waiheʻe, Kahului|
|6||Rosalyn Baker||Dem||South and West Maui|
|7||Lynn DeCoite||Dem||Maui, Kalawao||Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe|
|8||Ron Kouchi||Dem||Kauai||Kauaʻi, Niʻihau|
|9||Stanley Chang||Dem||Honolulu||Hawaiʻi Kai, ʻĀina Haina, Waiʻalae-Kāhala, Diamond Head|
|10||Les Ihara Jr.||Dem||Kaimukī, Kapahulu, Pālolo, Maunalani Heights, St. Louis Heights, Mōʻiliʻili, Ala Wai|
|11||Brian Taniguchi||Dem||Mānoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakōlea|
|12||Sharon Moriwaki||Dem||Kakaʻako, Ala Moana, Waikīkī, McCully, Mōʻiliʻili|
|13||Karl Rhoads||Dem||Liliha, Pālama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nuʻuanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus, Downtown|
|14||Donna Mercado Kim[Note 2]||Dem||Moanalua, ʻAiea, Fort Shafter, Kalihi Valley, Hālawa Valley|
|15||Glenn Wakai||Dem||Kalihi, Māpunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Āliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor|
|16||Bennette Misalucha||Dem||Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, ʻAiea, Royal Summit, ʻAiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Hālawa, Pearl Harbor|
|17||Clarence Nishihara||Dem||Waipahū, Pearl City, Crestview, Mānana, Pacific Palisades|
|18||Michelle Kidani||Dem||Mililani Town, Waipiʻo Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia|
|19||Kurt Fevella||Rep||ʻEwa Beach, ʻEwa by Gentry, Ocean Pointe, ʻEwa Villages, Iroquois Point|
|20||Mike Gabbard||Dem||Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, ʻEwa, Waipahū|
|21||Maile Shimabukuro||Dem||Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nānākuli, Māʻili, Waiʻanae, Mākaha, Mākua|
|22||Donovan Dela Cruz||Dem||Mililani Mauka, Waipiʻo Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, Poamoho|
|23||Gil Riviere||Dem||Kunia, Schofield Barracks, Wahiawā, Waialua, Haleʻiwa, Kahuku, Lāʻie, Kaʻaʻawa, Kāneʻohe|
|24||Jarrett Keohokalole||Dem||ʻĀhuimanu, Heʻeia, Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe MCAB|
|25||Chris Lee||Dem||Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi Kai, Portlock|
- Appointed to seat on January 7, 2013 by Governor Neil Abercrombie after Shan Tsutsui was appointed to be Lieutenant Governor.
- Became President of the Senate on December 28, 2012, after Shan Tsutsui was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to be Lieutenant Governor. Ousted as Senate President in unusual mid-year leadership reorganization on May 5, 2015. First Filipina, but second Filipino American, Hawaiʻi Senate President
The Hawaiʻi State Senate has been meeting at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol in downtown Honolulu since March 15, 1969. Previous to the decision of Governor John A. Burns to build the new Capitol building, the Hawaiʻi State Senate met in ʻIolani Palace.
Past composition of the Senate
- National Conference of State Legislatures. "2014 State Legislator Compensation | Living Expense Allowances During Session". Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- Cocke, Sophie (November 9, 2016). "Chang ousts Slom to create nation's only all-blue Senate". Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
- Cathy Bussewitz, If Democrat wins seat, Hawaii could be first state in U.S. with one-party rule, Associated Press (October 23, 2016).
- Osher, Wendy (January 7, 2013). "Governor Appoints Gilbert Keith-Agaran to Maui Senate Seat". MauiNow.com. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- "State Senate chooses Donna Kim as new president". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. December 28, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Dayton, Kevin (May 5, 2015). "Kauai's Kouchi replaces Kim as Senate president". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Medina, Andrei (January 16, 2013). "Donna Kim makes history as first Filipina-American Hawaiʻi Senate President". GMA News. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
Hawaiʻi Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim will make history on Thursday as she is installed as the first Filipina-American State Senate President.
- "Senator Donna Mercado Kim's Biography". Project Vote Smart. One Common Ground. 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2013.