Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Victory for Kokua Council—Embedded Interns

Business and industry representatives will not be allowed to work as interns for legislators, according to new state House and Senate rules.

Last session Hawaii employees lost the important protection of health care premium regulation, raising the issue of whether an HMSA Foundation executive working as an intern in Rep. Bob Herkes' office might have played a role in the defeat of that legislation. The issue was brought to light last year when Kokua Council president, Larry Geller asked the Ethics Commission to investigate. The Ethics Commission has not settled the issue, but nevertheless, the presence of these corporate people within legislative offices was a questionable practice from several points of view.

Kokua Council appreciates the change but, we will remain vigilant.