Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 701

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 701 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Designate February as "Ōlelo Hawaii Month" to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language;


(2) Require any Hawaiian words or names included in public acts and transactions to be accurate, appropriate, and authentic; and


(3) Require all newly created, replaced, or reprinted state and county documents, letterheads, symbols, and emblems to contain accurate, appropriate, and authentic Hawaiian names and words beginning on January 1, 2020.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Center for Hawaiian Sovereignty Studies, five individuals, and a petition signed by eighty-six individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from K&R Enterprises.


Your Committee finds that the State of Hawaii has long aspired to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Native Hawaiians. Article XV, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution establishes English and Hawaiian as the official languages of the State of Hawaii. By requiring the accurate, appropriate, and authentic use of Hawaiian names and words that utilize proper Hawaiian spelling and punctuation, this measure serves as an important step toward ensuring the renormalization and proliferation of the Hawaiian language as an official language of the State.


Your Committee notes concerns that diacritical marks, like okina and kahakō, were not traditionally used by Hawaiian speakers and that there are still communities today that eschew their use. However, like all living languages, Hawaiian is continuing to evolve and the majority of current Hawaiian speakers use okina and kahakō.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Adding additional Hawaiian language works that may be referenced to determine the appropriateness, authenticity, and accuracy of Hawaiian names and words;


(2) Removing part I as unnecessary, since the substance of that language has already been codified as section 8-24, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and


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


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. 701, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 701, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.


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