Hawaii lawmakers used to hearing about potential conflicts

AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz, File

In this April 5, 2015, file photo, Hawaii Senate President Ronald Kouchi, D-Kauai, speaks in Honolulu. Conflicts of interest are scattered around at the Hawaii State Legislature, where many lawmakers work outside jobs. Bills that could benefit or harm lawmakers’ sources of income often come up. Lawmakers argue there are good reasons for voting even in such circumstances. Kouchi said if the definition of conflict was too broad, “you can almost conflict everybody out of voting and not be able to conduct business.”

HONOLULU — 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.