REPORT BY OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS – The Hawaii State Senate voted overwhelmingly today to approve a proposal to transfer an estimated $200 million worth of land in Kakaako Makai to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to resolve longstanding claims for past-due revenues.
The full senate voted 24-to-1 to approve Senate Bill 2783. Senator Sam Slom had cast the lone dissenting vote on the bill, which would resolve claims for back rent for use of public land from state airports, housing and hospitals from November 7, 1978 to June 30, 2012.
The proposal would not affect any other claims against the state.
Senate Water Land and Housing Vice Chairwoman Malama Solomon urged her colleagues to support the bill, calling it a “step in the right direction.”
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. “
Judiciary and Labor Chairman Clayton Hee expressed concerns with the settlement. Both Hee and Sen. Donna Kim voted in favor but with reservations.
Meanwhile, senators also approved a bill to allow residential development on two of the parcels: 919 and 653 Ala Moana Boulevard. Both bills now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.