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Senate panel to review senator’s qualifications

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The state Senate has formed a special committee after questions were raised about whether Sen. Brickwood Galuteria lives in his district.

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that the new committee will explore whether Galuteria is qualified to serve.

She said the committee will review information and evidence to decide whether it needs to take further action.

It’s the second time this year that a Hawaii lawmaker’s qualifications have been questioned based on where he lives. Rep. Calvin Say faced a special House committee when his qualifications were challenged but he was cleared by the panel in March.

Say’s was the first challenge of its kind in Hawaii.

Kim’s letter to senators dated March 27 states that Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran will be chairman of the special committee. The committee will adopt its own rules, and any hearings organized by the committee will be open to the public, she said. When it’s done its review the committee will submit a report with findings and recommendations to Kim, she said.

Galuteria didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. He represents Waikiki and other parts of Honolulu.

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