House speaker upset about ethics rules on gifts to lawmakers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

House speaker upset about ethics rules on gifts to lawmakers

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The leader of Hawaii's House of Representatives is complaining about state Ethics Commission rules that rein in gifts to lawmakers.

House Speaker Joseph Souki sent a letter to the commission questioning what he calls controversial directives and recommendations.

The letter will be discussed at the Ethics Commission's meeting on Wednesday.

Souki's letter criticizes a new rule that bars lawmakers from accepting gift baskets or meals that have "relatively substantial" value. He says those rules are vague and should be decided through legislation. He also says such gifts have never raised ethical objections in the past.

Souki's letter also says teachers are outraged about the commission's recommendation that they shouldn't get a free ride from tour operators when they chaperone students on trips.

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