Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 849

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 849 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to reduce the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement of certain successors to lessees of Hawaiian home lands from one quarter to one thirty-second.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Advocacy and Empowerment Committee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Ka Lāhui Hawaii Political Action Committee, Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homeland Assembly, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Kailapa Community Association, State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs' Benefits and Trusts Committee, and numerous individuals.


     Your Committee finds that many descendants of lessees of Hawaiian home lands do not qualify as successors because interracial marriages and blended families produce descendants who are less than twenty-five percent Hawaiian.  These disruptions create undue hardships of displacement and interfere with families' abilities to maintain the equity of their homes and businesses.


     Your Committee wishes to make clear that this measure allows the transfer of leases prior to the leaseholder's death.  In doing so, this measure encourages current lessees to maintain and invest in their residences, as the lessees anticipate that their descendants will be able to make use of the properties for many generations to come.  The State has a fiduciary duty to support the rehabilitation of the Hawaiian people, in part by ensuring long-term tenancies to beneficiaries, transferees, and successors of beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended.


     Your Committee is concerned about the potential for abuse of current wait list procedures in that lessees who transfer their leases may circumvent the wait list procedures by getting placed back onto the list after the lease is transferred or by purchasing another lease.  Your Committee finds that this is a loop hole that was not intended.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by adding language to clarify that any beneficiary who transfers by sale or gift any lease shall not be placed on the wait list again and shall be prohibited from purchasing another lease.


     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. 849, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 849, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary and Labor.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,