STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1803
RE: S.R. No. 32
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.R. No. 32 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE GOVERNOR'S EFFORTS IN URGING THE BANK OF AMERICA TO RETURN TO HAWAII TO MEET WITH NA POE KOKUA AND THE HAWAII FAIR LENDING COALITION TO REACH A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT RELATING TO A $150,000,000 LOAN COMMITMENT FOR NATIVE HAWAIIANS ON HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support the Governor's efforts in urging the Bank of America to return to Hawaii to meet with Na Poe Kōkua and the Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition to reach a settlement agreement relating to a $150,000,000 loan commitment for Native Hawaiians on Hawaiian home lands.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Office of the Mayor, County of Maui; Maui County Council; three members of the Maui County Council; three members of the Kauai County Council; Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus; Oahu County Democrats Legislative Priorities Committee; Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development; Na Poe Kokua; and fourteen individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Bank of America.
Your Committee finds that in 1993 the Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition (HFLC) discovered that Bank of America was conducting discriminatory lending practices in the form of redlining, the practice of denying services to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas, by not providing mortgages on Hawaiian homelands. In response to HFLC's efforts, the Federal Reserve System ordered Bank of America to make $150,000,000 in Federal Housing Administration section 247 (FHA‑247) mortgages available on Hawaiian homelands by 1998. Your Committee further finds that, according to HFLC, Bank of America failed to meet its commitment and supplied only $3,109,502 in loans by 1998 and subsequently Bank of America reaffirmed its loan commitment of $150,000,000.
Your Committee notes testimony submitted by the Bank of America that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands agreed to modify the original terms of the agreement to apply initiatives besides residential mortgage loans toward the $150,000,000 commitment. Bank of America further claims that after the terms of the agreement were modified, it was able to fulfill its obligations by 2007 and contends that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands confirmed that the Bank of America had met its obligations.
Your Committee finds that significant questions pertaining to this matter remain and encourages the Governor's efforts in investigating whether Bank of America has outstanding obligations to the Native Hawaiian community.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Updating the findings to acknowledge that the Federal Reserve mandated that the Bank of America provide below market financing to assist Kauai in recovering from Hurricane Iniki and, according to HFLC, those loans were never provided;
(2) Updating the findings to include the Bank of America's position on its loan commitment and to indicate that certain findings express HFLC's position;
(3) Supporting the Governor's efforts in investigating this matter;
(4) Adding each member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as a recipient of a certified copy; and
(5) Amending the title accordingly.
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.R. No. 32, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 32, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair