STAND. COM. REP. NO.2185
RE: S.B. No. 2813
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 2813 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TIME FRAMES FOR BURIAL COUNCIL DETERMINATIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to expedite the determination process of the Island Burial Councils.
Testimony in support of the measure was received from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Accounting and General Services. Testimony in opposition to the measure was received from the Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference, Communications-Pacific Inc., and three members of various Island Burial Councils.
Your Committee finds that the measure would shorten the existing forty-five day to thirty day time period allocated to the Island Burial Councils to make a determination on how to mitigate a discovery of a native Hawaiian burial site. If the Council is unable to make a determination within the thirty day time frame, the landowner's permit application to execute a mitigation plan would be deemed automatically approved.
Your Committee has concerns with the concept of automatic permit application approval when it involves the preservation or relocation of native Hawaiian remains, particularly those that may be considered as historic. Testimony indicated that in many cases, the councils find it necessary to consult with literally hundreds of potentially impacted area residents who may be descendants of the persons whose remains were discovered. This process invariably requires much time in order to ensure that concerns of potential descendants are appropriately addressed.
In light of these concerns, your Committee has amended the measure by deleting any reference to a specific time period in which applications must be approved and any automatic permit approval, and replaced it with amendments that require each island burial council to adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that ensure that permit applications will be decide upon in a reasonable amount of time.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2813, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2813, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,
JONATHAN CHUN, Chair