Report Title:

Hawaiian Autonomy Trust, Transition Provisions

Description:

Establishes transition provisions upon the ratification of a constitutional amendment requiring the abolition of the office of Hawaiian affairs and the creation of the private non-profit trust, known as the Hawaiian Autonomy Trust.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1530

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to establish transition provisions upon the ratification of a constitutional amendment requiring the abolition of the office of Hawaiian affairs and the creation of the Hawaiian autonomy trust, a private nonprofit corporation whose trustees are elected by state residents and whose beneficiaries are persons of Hawaiian and native Hawaiian ancestry.

SECTION 2. Chapter 10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated as follows:

"10- Hawaiian Autonomy Trust; Creation; Election of Trustees.

(a) There is hereby established a Hawaiian Autonomy Trust. The Hawaiian Autonomy Trust shall be a private nonprofit corporate entity and shall not be a sovereign governmental entity. The Hawaiian Autonomy Trust shall assume the assets, rights, duties and obligations of the office of Hawaiian affairs. The trust shall have all of the rights, title, interest, duties and obligations, as established by law, including any appurtenant authority associated with those rights, title, interest, duties, and obligations. The trustees of the Hawaiian Autonomy Trust shall be elected by residents of this State, provided that successors to the initially elected board of trustees shall be appointed on the basis of their knowledge, skill, and experience in relevant areas, by the members of the board of trustees who are serving at the time a vacancy occurs. The beneficiaries of this trust shall be persons of Hawaiian and native Hawaiian ancestry.

As used in this section:

"Hawaiian" means a person descended by blood from any of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian islands prior to 1778.

"Native Hawaiian" has the same meaning as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920."

SECTION 3. Chapter 10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated as follows:

"10- Interim transfer of assets and liabilities to circuit court; appointment of special master; deposit of assets in escrow account.

(a) Upon the taking effect of this Act, and within ten business days after certification of the 2002 election results, the office of Hawaiian affairs shall transfer to the circuit court:

(1) Title to all lands owned by the office of Hawaiian affairs, if any, including land or orther assets that may have been transferred to the office;

(2) Title to all other lands under the control of the office of Hawaiian affairs and related appurtenances; any moneys, leases, investments, and other similar assets; and the right to any present and future monetary payments;

(3) All assets and debts of the office of Hawaiian affairs, including all present and future monetary payments; and

(4) All records, files, contracts, books, papers, documents, maps, and other personal property made, used, acquired, or held by the office of Hawaiian affairs relating to the functions to which they relate.

(b) The chief judge of the circuit court shall appoint one or more employees of the judiciary to take custody of the assets and liabilities of the office of Hawaiian affairs until such time as the circuit court formally appoints a special master to take control over the office's assets and liabilities.

(c) The special master shall deposit all moneys, securities, and all other assets under the special master's control, as the special master deems appropriate, into an interest bearing escrow account that is separate and apart from any account maintained by or for the office of Hawaiian affairs or any other public department, agency, or office. The escrow account shall be established in a bank, savings and loan association, or a trust company authorized to do business in this State under an escrow arrangement, or a corporation licensed as an escrow depository under chapter 449.

(d) All moneys, securities, and other assets in the escrow account established pursuant to subsection (c) shall remain in that account, and no disbursements shall be made from the escrow account either to or on behalf of any person, until such a time as the attorney general issues a written determination pursuant to subsection (e).

(e) Upon a written determination by the attorney general that the Hawaiian autonomy trust has been created in accordance with the laws of this State, and that the bylaws of the trust comport with the duties and responsibilities of the trust as enumerated in the laws of this State:

(1) All assets, rights, title, interest, duties, obligations, and liabilities of the office of Hawaiian affairs under the control of the special master appointed pursuant to subsection (b); and

(2) All moneys, securities, and other assets in the escrow account established pursuant to subsection (c), including all interest earned on those assets; shall be transferred to the Hawaiian autonomy trust as created pursuant to 10- ; provided that all assets and liabilities of the office of Hawaiian affairs under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be transferred to the Hawaiian autonomy trust no later than two years after the taking effect of this Act as provided by law.

(f) The special master shall furnish a statement of the escrow account, and all other assets and liabilities of the office of Hawaiian affairs that are under the control of the special master, to the legislature and governor no later than March 1, 2004."

SECTION 4. Chapter 10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated as follows:

"10- Hawaiian Autonomy Trust; Transfer of Assets

The State hereby authorizes the transfer by the State of its assets, rights, duties, and obligations owning to the Hawaiian population of this State under the office of Hawaiian affairs to the Hawaiian Autonomy Trust, created as provided by law. Upon this transfer, the State shall no longer be involved with or responsible for these assets, rights, duties, and obligations."

SECTION 5. Upon the taking effect of this Act, the legislative reference bureau shall prepare proposed legislation for submission at the next regular session of the legislature to make appropriate conforming amendments to the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval and upon ratification of a constitutional amendment requiring the abolition of the office of Hawaiian affairs and the creation of the Hawaiian autonomy trust, a private nonprofit corporation whose trustees are elected by state residents and whose beneficiaries are persons of Hawaiian and native Hawaiian ancestry.

INTRODUCED BY:

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