The Hawaii State Legislature is a bicameral body consisting of an upper house, the Hawaii Senate and a lower house, the Hawaii House of Representatives. There are 76 representatives in the legislature, each representing single member districts across the islands. The legislature meets at the Hawaii State Capitol in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
The Hawaii State Legislature makes laws that govern the state of Hawaii. The Senate has the advise and consent power to confirm the governor’s appointments, both for the executive branch and the judicial branch. The State legislature may propose amendments to the Hawaii Constitution by either a 2/3 vote of each house in a single session, or a majority vote of both houses in two sessions. Constitutional amendments are presented to the public at the next general election and must pass by a simple majority to become law.
The Hawaii State Senate is the upper chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. There are 25 members from various electoral districts. The Senate is led by the President of the Senate elected from the membership of the Senate. The members are elected to four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Senators must have been a resident of Hawaii for more than three years, have attained the age of majority and must, prior to filing nomination papers and thereafter continue to be, a qualified voter of the senate district from which the person seeks to be elected. An exception to this rule is that in the year of the first general election following district changes, but prior to the primary election, an incumbent senator may move to a new district without being disqualified from completing the remainder of the incumbent senator’s term.
The Hawaii House of Representatives is the lower house of the Hawaii State Legislature. The House consists of 51 members representing an equal amount of districts across the islands. The House is presided over by the Speaker of the House elected from the membership of the House. The members are elected to two-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Representatives must also have been residents of Hawaii for more than three years, must have attained the age of majority, and live in their respective house districts.