Roughly forty states have part-time legislatures—the legislative branch only meets for brief periods throughout the year. Usually, these legislatures meet for several months before adjourning. However, in many states, the governor may convene them in a special session at any time throughout the year. Recently, several states have convened 2022 special sessions or have considered a special session to deal with a wide variety of issues.
The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office recently asked the Legislature to convene in a special session in response to a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling requiring grand jury indictments for all felony cases. The Attorney’s Office argues this ruling will prevent it from initiating felony cases through preliminary hearings before a judge and has asked the Governor for the legislature to be convened to pass a law circumventing the ruling. On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Governor Ige issued a statement saying he would not convene the legislature at the request of the Attorney’s Office.