The Research Division assists the Legislature in its deliberations by preparing comprehensive, nonpartisan research memoranda and reports, consulting with Legislators, and drafting legislative documents, including bills, resolutions, and committee reports.
The Research Division provides comprehensive bill drafting services to legislators. Researchers are either attorneys or have advanced degrees in research-related fields. Legislators or staff may submit bill requests either in detailed form or as a general concept. Researchers are also available for consultation to prepare and finalize specific requests. Requests can be submitted at any time during the year. However, because of the volume of requests we handle in the months leading up to the Legislative Session, and legislative constraints on bill introduction, we recommend that drafting requests be submitted at the earliest opportunity.
Requested Reports and Studies
Research staff undertake short-term research projects, including legal research, throughout the year. During the legislative interim, researchers conduct comprehensive, in-depth studies on selected topics, either assigned to the Bureau through law, legislative concurrent resolution, or on self-generated topics. The study reports produced by the Research staff are made available for the public to review online or a limited number of printed copies are available at the Bureau’s library. These are listed by year of publication or may be searched for by title.
Hawaii Legislative Drafting Manual
The Legislative Drafting Manual is an authoritative guide to bill drafting style, as used in the Hawaii Legislature and is periodically updated by the Research staff. The Manual covers statutory and constitutional drafting, common drafting problems, Ramseyer format, amending session laws, appropriations, resolutions and certificates, and committee reports. The Manual includes numerous examples. The Manual was last republished in 2012.
During the legislative interim, the Assistant Director for Research or the Assistant Director’s designee is available to provide bill drafting classes to legislative and executive branch staff. The Bureau provides an orientation to our services for new members of the Legislature and participates in staff orientations presented by the House and Senate.