Latest news on legislation to protect Hawaii student journalists

March 2021

Neither bill got a hearing.


January 22, 2021

The Senate bill has been introduced. It is SB214.

December 26, 2020: Senator Les Ihara and Representative Takashi Ohno have agreed to help get the Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act introduced for the 2021 legislative session.


Ka Leo  -Hawaiʻi bill would limit censorship for public school newsrooms

Think Tech Hawaii interview

Civil Beat – Student Press Freedom Bill Dies in Committee


High school journalism bill dead for this legislative session

Civl Beat – Why Hawaii Student Journalists Feel the Need to Censor Themselves

Civil Beat Editorial – Chad Blair: Lawmakers Take a Stand for the First Amendment

Hawaii bill would protect school newspapers’ rights

HB1529 has support from the Star Advertiser editorial board. Mar. 14

Posted by New Voices of Hawaii on Saturday, March 14, 2020

New Voices with New Stories


July 25, 2020:

The bill is now HB1529 HD2 SD1 and was deferred indefinitely by the Senate Judiciary committee at its June 30 hearing. We will try again next year.

Jan 30, 2020

HB1529 passed LHE, its first hurdle!
Two students, a high school adviser and the president of Hawaii Publishers Association testified in person and 13 testimonies were submitted online in support. The DOE testified with some concerns.

Jan. 24, 2020

Senate Bill

We have a senate bill! Here is a link to SB2608, which is called Hawaii Student Journalism Protection Act.

It has been assigned to EDU/HRE, JUD. The EDU and HRE committees usually meet at 2:45 p.m.

It is sponsored by Senator Les Ihara.

Other introducers of the bill are:

  • Stanley Chang
  • Kaiali‘i Kahele
  • Donna Mercado Kim
  • Kanuha Dru Mamoanuha

If any of these senators represent your home or school district, email them to thank them for their support of scholastic journalism.

House Bill

HB1529 will get another go this session. It is called Hawaii Student Free Expression Bill and is sponsored by Representative Takashi Ohno.

Other introducers of the bill are:

  • Della Au Belatti
  • Tom Brower
  • Romy Cachola
  • Richard Creagan
  • Lynn Decoite
  • Cedric Gates
  • Mark Hashem
  • Troy Hashimoto
  • Linda Ichiyama
  • Chris Lee
  • Nicole Lowen
  • Lauren Matsumoto
  • Bob McDermott
  • John Mizuno                   .
  • Dee Morikawa
  • Mark Nakashima
  • Val Okimoto
  • Sean Quinlan
  • Gregg Takayama
  • Cynthia Thielen
  • Chris Todd
  • Gene Ward
  • Tina Wildberger
  • Justin Woodson
  • Kyle Yamashita
  • Joy San Buenaventura

If any of these representatives serve your home or school district, email them to thank them for their support of scholastic journalism.