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hawaii lawmakers used to hearing about potential conflicts

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hawaii lawmakers used to hearing about potential conflicts

honolulu (ap) — hawaii lawmakers are used to hearing the criticism that they often vote in their own interests. most work outside jobs, and bills often come up that could benefit their sources of income.even comedian john oliver noticed.a few years ago, oliver ran a segment on his hbo show highlighting how rep. joe souki disclosed he was a consultant for the american chemistry council just before the house voted on a bill the trade group opposed. the legislation would have imposed a fee on plastic bags.the house’s presiding lawmaker told the maui democrat there was no conflict, and souki voted against the bill.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.oliver’s studio audience scoffed and laughed. but lawmakers argue there are good reasons to vote even in such circumstances.souki, who was house speaker from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2013 until last may, said leaders have long been relatively liberal in allowing votes amid potential conflicts. it’s better to have lawmakers on the record for or against legislation, he said.“the bottom line is that we are a part-time legislature,” souki said. “people work and they’re going to have potential conflicts because of their job.”the hawaii constitution wants members to vote — “to be transparent and not to hide behind recusal,” souki said.house speaker scott saiki said lawmakers have a duty to represent their constituents, which includes voting. disclosure requirements act as a check, saiki said....