STAND. COM. REP. NO. 638

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 849

S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 849, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION ACT,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, by:

 

(1) Prohibiting any lessee who transfers a lease from being placed on the wait list again and from purchasing another lease;

 

(2) Reducing the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement of certain successors to lessees of Hawaiian home lands from one-quarter to one thirty-second; and

 

(3) Making housekeeping amendments by replacing references to "husband" or "wife" with "spouse".

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Ka Lāhui Hawaii Political Action Committee, and twenty-eight individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

 

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. By allowing the transfer of leases prior to the leaseholder's death, 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.

 

Your Committee is concerned that the language that prohibits any lessee who transfers a lease from being placed on the wait list again and from purchasing another lease may be too broad. Your Committee believes that this issue merits further discussion as this measure moves through the legislative process.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and

 

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

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 849, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 849, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

 

 

 

________________________________

GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair