STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2599

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 3003

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2014

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, Water and Land, and Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 3003, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAND,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish the County of Niihau under the jurisdiction of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from three individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hookipa Network Kauai, Ocean Users and Holoholo Charters, and eight individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of the Attorney General, and one individual.

 

Your Committees find that Niihau is unique from the rest of the State. In 1959, Niihau was the only island to vote against statehood and Niihau's owners and residents, who primarily speak Hawaiian, are nearly all descendants of natural-born citizens of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Niihau is confronted with different issues, including concerns regarding fishing rights along the shoreline and the payment and expenditure of property taxes.

 

Your Committees received testimony from the owners of Niihau expressing concerns that they pay property taxes to the County of Kauai, yet the residents of Niihau do not receive, nor do they ask for, any services in exchange for the property taxes paid. Your Committees find that this issue raises concerns that merit further consideration and that a review of the issues surrounding the establishment of the County of Niihau will be beneficial.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting language to establish a temporary working group in the Department of Land and Natural Resources to examine the issues surrounding the establishment of the County of Niihau and requiring the submittal of a report to the Legislature;

 

(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2020, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, Water and Land, and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3003, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 3003, S.D. 2, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, Water and Land, and Ways and Means,

 

____________________________

MALAMA SOLOMON, Chair

 

____________________________

WILL ESPERO, Chair

 

 

____________________________

DAVID Y. IGE, Chair