57
THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING AN AUDIT OF VARIOUS EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS REGARDING
    CEDED LAND REVENUES.
 


 1        WHEREAS, by many measures, the descendents of the
 2   inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778, have not
 3   prospered in their native land; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, there are many explanations for this condition,
 6   but the central theme includes the loss of control over land
 7   and other assets; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the
10   sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 was orchestrated by members
11   of the annexation club who controlled the economy and much of
12   the private property in Hawaii; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, the annexation of the Hawaiian islands in 1898
15   conveyed absolute title of Hawaii's crown and government lands
16   to the United States; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, the Joint Resolution of Annexation provided "that
19   all revenue from or proceeds of the public lands ... shall be
20   used for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands
21   for educational and other public purposes; and
22   
23        WHEREAS, the Organic Act of 1900 established Hawaii as a
24   territory of the United States and provided that the proceeds
25   from the ceded lands be deposited in the treasury of the
26   territory for such uses as are consistent with the Joint
27   Resolution of Annexation; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, placed
30   almost 200,000 acres of ceded land under the jurisdiction of
31   the Hawaiian Homes Commission for lease to native Hawaiians at
32   a nominal fee; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, statehood occurred when Congress passed the
35   Admission Act and ratified our State Constitution in 1959; and

 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   
 2        WHEREAS, the Admissions Act recognized the special status
 3   of Hawaii's public lands and reflected the intent to return
 4   these lands to the newly created State of Hawaii; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, about 1.4 million acres of land were returned
 7   with the proviso that the lands granted to the State of Hawaii,
 8   together with the proceeds from the sale or other disposition
 9   of any such lands and income therefrom, shall be held by the
10   State as a public trust for the support of five purposes, one
11   of which is the betterment of the conditions of native
12   Hawaiians; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, after failing for nineteen years to fulfill its
15   fiduciary responsibility to the public land trust, the 1978
16   Constitutional Convention implemented the State's obligation to
17   Hawaiians and native Hawaiians by creating the Office of
18   Hawaiian Affairs to hold title in trust to all real and
19   personal property set aside or conveyed to it for native
20   Hawaiians; and
21   
22        WHEREAS, the legislature in 1979 enacted chapter 10,
23   Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), creating the Office of Hawaiian
24   Affairs (OHA); and
25   
26        WHEREAS, Act 273, Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 1980,
27   amended chapter 10, HRS, to add a new section (section 10-13.5,
28   HRS), to require that twenty per cent of all revenue from the
29   public land trust (ceded lands) be expended by OHA for the
30   betterment of conditions of native Hawaiians; and
31   
32        WHEREAS, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in 1987 in
33   Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs vs. Yamasaki, 69
34   Haw. 154, that a legislative remedy was needed to clarify
35   issues regarding ceded land revenues; and
36   
37        WHEREAS, Act 304, SLH 1990, added definitions for "public
38   land trust" and "revenues" to chapter 10, HRS, constituting a
39   formal recognition of a right of native Hawaiians to ceded
40   lands proceeds that resolves some of the claims of native
41   Hawaiians against the State for lands taken from the Kingdom of
42   Hawaii without its consent and without compensation; and

 
 
 
 
 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   
 2        WHEREAS, Act 304, SLH 1990, made legislative findings in
 3   section 1 concerning the special trust relationship imposed
 4   upon ceded lands; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, Act 35, SLH 1993, authorized the issuance of
 7   $136.5 million in general obligation bonds to satisfy the
 8   State's obligation to native Hawaiians for the use of ceded
 9   lands between 1981 and 1990; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, circuit court judge Daniel Heely ruled that OHA
12   claims for additional revenues under Act 304, SLH 1990, were
13   legitimate and valid; and
14   
15        WHEREAS, Act 329, SLH 1997, is the most recent evidence of
16   the State's systematic efforts to deny the rightful
17   entitlements of the Hawaiian people by capping payments at
18   $15.1 million for each of the two year fiscal period; and
19   
20        WHEREAS, Act 329, SLH 1997, established a joint committee
21   to study and make recommendations on all outstanding and
22   anticipated issues identified by the joint committee as
23   currently or potentially relating to the public land trust; and
24   
25        WHEREAS, OHA has been conducting a Beneficiary Outreach
26   Program since the beginning of 1998; and
27   
28        WHEREAS, beneficiaries at community meetings throughout
29   the State have voiced concerns about ceded lands and the twenty
30   per cent entitlement to OHA; and
31   
32        WHEREAS, the methodologies used by the various state
33   departments in verifying the amounts of revenue from ceded
34   lands under their respective jurisdictions should be reliable
35   and consistent with generally accepted accounting principles;
36   and
37   
38        WHEREAS, it is important and essential that the State does
39   not unilaterally alter or modify its legal obligations and
40   fiduciary responsibilities to OHA and to native Hawaiians; now,
41   therefore,
42   

 
 
 
 
 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
 2   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the House of
 3   Representatives concurring, that the Auditor is requested to an
 4   audit of the Departments of Accounting and General Services;
 5   Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Education; Health;
 6   Land and Natural Resources; Transportation (Airports and
 7   Harbors Divisions); and the University of Hawaii regarding
 8   their methodologies in verifying the amounts of ceded land
 9   revenues, with particular emphasis on the reliability and
10   consistency of such methodologies with generally accepted
11   accounting principles; and
12   
13        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor report findings
14   and recommendations to the legislature no later than twenty
15   days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
16   
17        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
18   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor,
19   Comptroller, Director of Business, Economic Development, and
20   Tourism, Superintendent of Education, Director of Health,
21   Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources,
22   Director of Transportation, President of the University of
23   Hawaii, Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,
24   the joint committee established under Act 329 (c/o OHA), and
25   the Auditor.