Liz Larson
Liz Larson

BY LIZ LARSON– Senate Bill 237 sets a dangerous precedent for corruption in the lease of public land.  The bill states “Notwithstanding sections 171-13 and 302A-1151, or any other law to the contrary, the department may lease public school land on terms it deems appropriate…”

This means that if Senate Bill 237 passes, the Department of Education (DOE) may ignore the current laws that put the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) in charge of leasing public land.

This is dangerous because the DOE does not have the same rules and safeguards in place that the DLNR does that ensures the decision making process is not prone to corruption.

Essentially, the DOE would have unfettered power to lease any public school land in the state.

On Friday, April 26th, the bill narrowly passed conference committee and will be up for a vote in both the Hawaii State Senate and the Hawaii State House of Representatives this Tuesday, April 30th.

Please contact your local legislators and urge them to vote ‘No’ to Senate Bill 237.