STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1559
RE: S.C.R. No. 180
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.C.R. No. 180 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE PLAN, INCLUDING GOALS, BENCHMARKS, STRATEGIES, AND OUTCOMES, TO BUILD UPON ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND TO ACCELERATE THE NORMALIZATION OF OLELO HAWAII,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support the development of a Hawaiian Language Plan, including goals, benchmarks, strategies, and outcomes, to build upon accomplishments and accelerate the normalization of ōlelo Hawaii.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education; University of Hawaii System; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Alaska Native Languages and Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast; Governing Board of Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalaniōpuu Iki Laboratory Public Charter School; Maunakea Observatories; Kanaeokana Kula Hawaii Network; Kamehameha Schools; Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; Aha Pūnana Leo; Pūnana Leo o Hilo; Pūnana Leo o Waimea; Pūnana Leo o Kona; Pūnana Leo o Maui; Pūnana Leo o Lahaina; Pūnana Leo o Hāna; Pūnana Leo o Molokai; Pūnana Leo o Mānoa; Pūnana Leo o Honolulu; Pūnana Leo o Waianae; Pūnana Leo o Koolau Poko; Pūnana Leo o Kauai; Mokuola Honua Center for Indigenous Language Excellence; Makauila, Inc.; Ōiwi Television Network; Prince Kūhiō Hawaiian Civic Club; Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; a petition signed by over two hundred ninety individuals; and four individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds ōlelo Hawaii is an indigenous language of Hawaii recognized by the Constitution of the State of Hawaii as one of the State's official languages. There is a need to recognize the native Hawaiian speakers who preserved the language in their families and whose families never lost the language, despite a general loss of ōlelo Hawaii at the turn of the 20th century. Your Committee further finds that there are many groups who deserve recognition and acknowledgment for the hard work they have done to reverse the language loss that occurred in the early 1900s and to preserve, revitalize, and promote this indigenous language through cooperative efforts to raise speakers of ōlelo Hawaii, educate learners in immersive settings, normalize ōlelo Hawaii in its homeland, and drive and inspire change to ensure a living language in Hawaii. Your Committee also finds that, although much progress has been made to preserve ōlelo Hawaii, the development of a Hawaiian Language Plan is necessary to continue advancing the use of ōlelo Hawaii beyond the education sector and into government services and transactions, private sector activity, and tourism.
Your Committee notes that concerns were raised regarding Aha Punana Leo's role as leader of the coalition to develop the Hawaiian Language Plan and that there may be interest by both the Lieutenant Governor's office and Governor's office to take a leadership role in this coalition. Your Committee finds that choosing a neutral, universally acceptable leader of this coalition merits further consideration and requests that your Committee on Ways and Means further examine the viability of either the Lieutenant Governor's or Governor's office taking leadership of this coalition.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Acknowledging the accomplishments of the Niihau Language Commission and native Hawaiian speakers who preserved the indigenous Hawaiian language in the family setting;
(2) Clarifying that native speakers are first language speakers whose families never lost the Hawaiian language and acknowledging their role in ōlelo Hawaii preservation;
(3) Amending the suggested membership of the coalition to include native speakers;
(4) Clarifying that the coalition have equitable representation of the different ōlelo Hawaii stakeholders; and
(5) 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 Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 180, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means, in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 180, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair