Maui News

VIDEO: Committee Passes Hawaiian Language Mandates

April 26, 2012, 6:59 AM HST
* Updated April 26, 10:18 AM
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Senate Conference Committee members discuss House Bill 1984 Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1, upon voting on the measure. Photo Courtesy: Hawai'i State Senate Communications.

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI628kGOU90 /] By Wendy Osher

A legislative conference committee on Wednesday passed a Hawaiian language mandate measure, House Bill 1984, SD1, CD1.

The conference draft will now go before the full Senate and House for a floor vote.

The bill would designate the month of February as “’Ōlelo Hawai‘i Month” to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language.

The measure would also require all letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the state and other government departments to include accurate and appropriate spelling and punctuation of Hawaiian names and language.

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“The passage of this bill further codifies the Hawaiian language as one of the official languages of the state,” said Maui Sen. J. Kalani English, who is a member of the Conference Committee that passed the bill.

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Similar bills have passed in the Senate over the past six years, but have stalled in the House.

“For years we have asked for parity in the appropriate use of Hawaiian language as one of two official languages.  I am elated that this measure is moving forward and will soon become law,” said Sen. English.  “This is a great day for those of us who carry on the language of our grandparents’ parents,” he said.

If the measure successfully gains passage in both chambers and is signed by the governor, it would take affect on January 1, 2013.

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***Video courtesy Hawai‘i State Senate Communications.

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