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Hawaii State Senate


Hawaii State Senate

Hawaii State Senate
Hawaii State Legislature
Term limits
New session started
January 21, 2015
Donna Mercado Kim (D)
since December 28, 2012
Vice President of the Senate
Will Espero (D)
since November 5, 2014
Majority Leader
J. Kalani English (D)
since November 5, 2014
Minority Leader
Sam Slom (R)
since November 6, 2010
Seats 25
Political groups

Governing party

Opposition party

Length of term
4 years
Authority Article III, Hawaiʻi Constitution
Salary $57,852/year +
$175 per diem for non-Oahu members, or
$10 per diem for Oahu members (2014)[1]
Last election
November 4, 2014
(13 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2016
(13 seats)
Redistricting Hawaii Reapportionment Commission
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Hawaiʻi State Capitol
Honolulu, Hawaii
Official Senate Page

The Hawaii State Senate is the upper chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The senate consists of twenty-five members elected from an equal number of constituent districts across the islands. The senate is led by the President of the Senate, elected from the membership of the body, currently Donna Mercado Kim. The forerunner of the Hawaii State Senate during the government of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was the House of Nobles originated in 1840. In 1894 the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii renamed the upper house the present senate. Senators are elected to four-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Like most state legislatures in the United States, the Hawaii State Senate is a part-time body and senators often have active careers outside of government. The lower chamber of the legislature is the Hawaii House of Representatives. The membership of the Senate also elects additional officers to include the Senate Vice President, Senate Chief Clerk, Assistant Chief Clerk, Senate Sergeant at Arms and Assistant Sergeant at Arms.

The Hawaii Senate convenes in the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu.


The Democratic Party holds the largest majority of any state legislative chamber in the Hawaii Senate, with 24 of 25 seats. The Hawaii Senate is also the only state legislative chamber in the United States where the minority party holds only a single seat.[2][3]

See also: Politics of Hawaii

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
End of previous legislature (2014) 24 1 25 0
Begin (2015) 24 1 25 0
Latest voting share 96% 4%


Position Name Party District
President of the Senate Donna Mercado Kim Democratic 14
Majority Leader J. Kalani English Democratic 7
Minority Leader Sam Slom Republican 9


Position Name
Chief Clerk Carol T. Taniguchi
Assistant Chief Clerk Jennifer T. Chow
Sergeant at Arms Bienvenido C. Villaflor
Assistant Sergeant at Arms Jayson M. Watts

List of current members

District Name Party County(ies) Areas Represented
1 Kahele, GilGil Kahele Dem Hawaii Hilo
2 Ruderman, Russell E.Russell E. Ruderman Dem Puna, Kaʻu
3 Green, JoshJosh Green Dem Kona, Kaʻu
4 Inouye, LorraineLorraine Inouye Dem Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona
5 Keith-Agaran, Gilbert S. C.Gilbert S. C. Keith-Agaran[Note 1] Dem Maui Wailuku, Waiheʻe, Kahului
6 Baker, RosalynRosalyn Baker Dem South and West Maui
7 English, J. KalaniJ. Kalani English Dem Maui, Kalawao Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi and Kahoʻolawe
8 Kouchi, Ronald D.Ronald D. Kouchi Dem Kauai Kauaʻi, Niʻihau
9 Slom, SamSam Slom Rep Honolulu Hawaiʻi Kai, ʻAina Haina, Waiʻalae-Kahala, Diamond Head
10 Ihara, Jr., LesLes Ihara, Jr. Dem Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, St. Louis Heights, Moʻiliʻili, Ala Wai
11 Taniguchi, BrianBrian Taniguchi Dem Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakolea
12 Galuteria, BrickwoodBrickwood Galuteria Dem Kakaʻako, Ala Moana, Waikiki, McCully, Moʻiliʻili
13 Chun Oakland, SuzanneSuzanne Chun Oakland Dem Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nuʻuanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus, Downtown
14 Kim, Donna MercadoDonna Mercado Kim[Note 2] Dem Moanalua, ʻAiea, Fort Shafter, Kalihi Valley, Halawa Valley
15 Wakai, GlennGlenn Wakai Dem Kalihi, Mapunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor
16 Harimoto, BreeneBreene Harimoto Dem Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, ʻAiea, Royal Summit, ʻAiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa, Pearl Harbor
17 Nishihara, Clarence K.Clarence K. Nishihara Dem Waipahu, Pearl City, Crestview, Manana, Pacific Palisades
18 Kidani, MichelleMichelle Kidani Dem Mililani Town, Waipiʻo Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia
19 Espero, WillWill Espero Dem ʻEwa Beach, ʻEwa by Gentry, Ocean Pointe, ʻEwa Villages, Iroquois Point
20 Gabbard, MikeMike Gabbard Dem Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, ʻEwa, Waipahu
21 Shimabukuro, MaileMaile Shimabukuro Dem Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nanakuli, Maʻili, Waiʻanae, Makaha, Makua
22 Donovan Dela CruzDonovan Dela Cruz Dem Mililani Mauka, Waipiʻo Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Poamoho
23 Riviere, GilGil Riviere Dem Kunia, Schofield Barracks, Wahiawa, Waialua, Haleʻiwa, Kahuku, Laʻi.e., Kaʻaʻawa, Kaneʻohe
24 Tokuda, Jill N.Jill N. Tokuda Dem ʻAhuimanu, Heʻeia, Kaneʻohe, Kaneʻohe MCAB
25 Thielen, LauraLaura Thielen Dem Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawaiʻi Kai, Portlock
  1. ^ Appointed to seat on January 7, 2013 by Governor Neil Abercrombie after Shan Tsutsui was appointed to be Lieutenant Governor.[4]
  2. ^ Became President of the Senate on December 28, 2012, after Shan Tsutsui was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to be Lieutenant Governor.[5] First Filipino American Hawaii Senate President[6][7]
Entrance to the Hawaii State Senate chamber


The Hawaii State Senate has been meeting at the Hawaii State Capitol in downtown Honolulu since March 15, 1969. Previous to the decision of Governor John A. Burns to build the new Capitol building, the Hawaii State Senate met in ʻIolani Palace.


  1. ^ National Conference of State Legislatures. "2014 State Legislator Compensation | Living Expense Allowances During Session". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Slom crafts strategy as Senate's sole Republican". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. November 13, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ Greenblatt, Alan (February 5, 2013). "Lonely And Frustrated: These May Be The Worst Jobs In Politics". NPR. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  4. ^ Osher, Wendy (January 7, 2013). "Governor Appoints Gilbert Keith-Agaran to Maui Senate Seat". Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  5. ^ "State Senate chooses Donna Kim as new president". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. December 28, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  6. ^ Andrei Medina (16 January 2013). "Donna Kim makes history as first Filipina-American Hawaii Senate President". GMA News. Retrieved 19 January 2013. Hawaii Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim will make history on Thursday as she is installed as the first Filipina-American State Senate President. 
  7. ^ "Senator Donna Mercado Kim's Biography". Project Vote Smart. One Common Ground. 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 

External links

  • Hawaii State Legislature
    • Hawaii State House of Representatives
    • Hawaii State Senate
  • Hawaii State Legislature Legislative Reference Bureau
  • State Senate of Hawaii at Project Vote Smart
  • Hawaii Senate at Ballotpedia

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