By Wendy Osher
The Hawaii State Senate cast a 24 to 1 vote in favor of advancing a $200 million ceded lands settlement proposal.
The measure seeks to resolve longstanding claims of past-due revenues to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the period between November 7, 1978 and June 30, 2012.
Senate Bill 2783 would resolve claims for back rent for use of public land from state airports, housing and hospitals for the specified period; but would not affect any other claims against the state.
Under the proposed agreement, the state would transfer land at Kaka’ako Makai to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The lone dissenting vote, was cast by Senator Sam Slom. Meantime, Judiciary and Labor Chairman Clayton Hee and Sen. Donna Kim both voted in favor of the bill with reservations.
Senate Water Land and Housing Vice Chairwoman Malama Solomon called the bill, “a step in the right direction,” and urged her colleagues to support the bill.
In an OHA media release, Senate Hawaiian Affairs Chairman Brickwood Galutaria said, “although we realize there is much work ahead, I am extremely excited and encouraged about the potential of this settlement to help OHA continue its mission and it represents a major milestone in the most critical stage of a reconciliation process to provide OHA a brighter future for not only Native Hawaiians, equally important, all of Hawaii Nei.”
The bill now advances to the state House for further review.
*** Supporting information courtesy OHA. To view the above image and OHA settlement presentation in detail, cut and paste the following URL into your browser: http://www.oha.org/kakaako/pdfs/Kakaako%20Makai%20Settlement%20Proposal%20v1.31.pdf.