Hawaiian Language Bill Scheduled for Hearing

January 29, 2018, 5:23 PM HST · Updated January 29, 5:23 PM
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A bill to integrate the Hawaiian language into fundamental functions of the state is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Committees on Hawaiian Affairs, Higher Education and Judiciary on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at 9 a.m.

‘Ōlelo no ka Lāhui demonstration in support of Hawaiian language.

Senate Majority Leader, J. Kalani English (Dist. 7-Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe) introduced Senate Bill 2687, which would appropriate funds to the University of Hawaiʻi to translate the Hawaiʻi State Constitution into the Hawaiian language.

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The proposed measure includes a part two which addresses the constitutional issue of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi as one of two official state languages. It would require courts to provide Hawaiian language translation service upon request of any party to a proceeding.

The Hawaiʻi State Senate has long been committed to the implementation and usage of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in its daily operations. Since 2015, the Senate Order of the Day has been posted in both Hawaiian and English with the usage of Hawaiian diacritical markings in its public records. The Senate Committees on Water and Land and Hawaiian Affairs also launched a Hawaiian language hearing notice pilot project in 2017 as part of the Senate’s continuing initiative recognizing the state’s two official languages.

“Up until the early 20th century, government operations in Hawaiʻi were conducted almost entirely in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi,” said Sen. English. “SB2687 is a natural progression in the revitalization and implementation of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in government affairs. We are committed to ensuring equal access for all to services in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ”

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