ACU Foundation Releases Latest Scores of the Hawaii State Legislature

The few times the Hawaii State Legislature’s leftist lawmakers got it right, Governor Ige was there with his veto pen, stopping liberty-minded reforms like civil asset forfeiture and deregulation of historic vehicles.

The American Conservative Union Foundation conducts an annual, in-depth analysis to rate all 8,000 lawmakers in America, revealing their positions on a wide variety of issues directly affecting our communities and families.

The state’s overall score improved by 10 points compared to the 2018 session. This was due in part to several consevative reforms which were either defeated or vetoed.

Even with the improvement, the Hawaii State Legislature was ranked the second most liberal legislature in the country.

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Hawaii Ranks Second Most Liberal Legislature in the Country

CPAC Host Releases Scores of Hawaii State Legislature

Alexandria, VA—The Hawaii Legislature qualified as the second most liberal state legislature in the country, according to the just-released ratings of the 2019 session published by The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF), host of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

CLICK HERE for the scorecard and the full list of scores for Hawaii state lawmakers.

The Hawaii Legislature (21.23%) was the second most liberal state legislature in the country during the 2019 session. Only the members of the Massachusetts General Assembly (11.38%) were rated as voting more liberally.

“The cost of living under a liberal agenda has forced over 15,000 Hawaiians to move out of the state in the last three years,” said ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp. “Increases in taxes and business costs have led many families and businesses to relocate to more conservative states. We urge lawmakers to ease government burdens and help people keep the lives they built.”

Leadership of the legislature earned the following scores:

  • Senate President Ronald Kouchi 17%
  • Senate Vice President Michelle Kidani 21%
  • Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English 21%
  • Senate Minority Leader Kurt Fevella 28%
  • Speaker of the House Scott Saiki 18%
  • Vice Speaker of the House Mark Nakashima 19%
  • House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti 19%
  • House Minority Leader Gene Ward 36%

While still one of the most liberal in the country, the Hawaii Legislature slightly improved its overall conservative score compared to the previous session (10-point increase). That increase is due in part to several reforms the CLA rated positively: blocking improper asset forfeiture, deregulating motor vehicles, lifting labor mandates on handymen, and ensuring equal taxation of electric vehicles.

Each of those reforms either stalled in the political process or was vetoed by Governor Ige.

ACUF’s Ratings of Congress and Ratings of the States are initiatives of ACUF’s Center for Legislative Accountability (CLA). These ratings are designed to reflect how over 8,000 elected officials across the nation view the role of government while illustrating the differences between chambers of the legislature and revealing lawmakers’ positions on a wide variety of issues that directly affect citizens.

ACU Foundation reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both chambers of the legislature to produce average scores of each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

Click Here to view the 2019 Ratings of Hawaii online and Click Here to visit our website.

For questions or media inquiries regarding ACUF’s Ratings of the States, email Luke Schneider, Deputy Director of ACUF’s Center for Legislative Accountability, at [email protected].


Our staff spends thousands of hours analyzing more than 105,000 pieces of legislation voted on by Congress and every state legislature in the country. Your support is critical to be able to provide this level of insight and transparency. Will you please make a tax-deductible donation today to support transparency and ratings of Hawaii legislators?