HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1122

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION ACT.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 201, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Beneficiary consultation" means, at a minimum, the direct, timely, affirmative, and interactive process of beneficiary organizations, as defined in 43 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 47 and 48, on regulations, legislative proposals, or department of Hawaiian home lands programmatic or policy actions that have a substantial direct effect or implications on one or more homestead areas, or that involves the disposition of trust lands to non-beneficiary individuals or organizations in which the department of Hawaiian home lands provides at least forty-five days to receive input from beneficiaries and beneficiary organizations. "Beneficiary consultation" includes communications conducted through in-person listening sessions, mail, email, or social media, and includes specific notification to all registered beneficiary organizations."

SECTION 2. Section 204, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Upon the passage of this Act, all available lands shall immediately assume the status of Hawaiian home lands and be under the control of the department to be used and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Act, except that:

(1) In case any available land is under lease by the Territory of Hawaii, by virtue of section 73 of the Hawaiian Organic Act, at the time of the passage of this Act, such land shall not assume the status of Hawaiian home lands until the lease expires or the board of land and natural resources withdraws the lands from the operation of the lease. If the land is covered by a lease containing a withdrawal clause, as provided in section 73(d) of the Hawaiian Organic Act, the board of land and natural resources shall withdraw such lands from the operation of the lease whenever the department gives notice to the board that the department is of the opinion that the lands are required by it for the purposes of this Act; and such withdrawal shall be held to be for a public purpose within the meaning of that term as used in section 73(d) of the Hawaiian Organic Act.

(2) Any available land, including lands selected by the department out of a larger area, as provided by this Act, not leased as authorized by section 207(a) of this Act, may be returned to the board of land and natural resources as provided under section 212 of this Act, or may be retained for management by the department. Any Hawaiian home lands general lease issued by the department after June 30, 1985, shall contain a withdrawal clause allowing the department to withdraw the land leased at any time during the term of the lease for the purposes of this Act.

In the management of any retained available lands not required for leasing under section 207(a), the department may dispose of those lands or any improvements thereon to the public, including native Hawaiians, on the same terms, conditions, restrictions, and uses applicable to the disposition of public lands in chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided that the department may not sell or dispose of such lands in fee simple except as authorized under section 205 of this Act; provided further that the department shall not dispose of such lands or extend a general lease to non-beneficiaries unless there are no applicants seeking, on a waitlist or otherwise, to enter into a lease to the use and occupancy of a tract or tracts of Hawaiian home lands under section 207(a) or section 207(c)(1)(B); provided further that the department is expressly authorized to negotiate, prior to negotiations with the general public, the disposition of Hawaiian home lands or any improvements thereon to a native Hawaiian, or organization or association owned or controlled by native Hawaiians, for commercial, industrial, or other business purposes, in accordance with the procedures set forth in chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes[.]; provided further that the department, prior to the disposition of Hawaiian home lands or any improvements thereon, short- or long-term, including easements, shall be required to notify beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation; provided further that any trust land disposition, including a lease, license or revocable permit issued to a non-beneficiary individual, firm, or organization, by the department requires evidence presented to the department that the lessee or licensee has entered into a homestead beneficiary agreement for the purposes of this paragraph, "homestead beneficiary agreement" means a contract or agreement signed by a homestead association as defined under title 43 C.F.R. section 47.10, wherein non-beneficiary lessees provide specific amenities and funding to the homestead association for community programs and services.

(3) The department, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, in order to consolidate its holdings or to better effectuate the purposes of this Act, may exchange the title to available lands for land, privately or publicly owned, of an equal value. All lands so acquired by the department shall assume the status of available lands as though the land were originally designated as available lands under section 203 of this Act, and all lands so conveyed by the department shall assume the status of the land for which it was exchanged. The limitations imposed by section 73(l) of the Hawaiian Organic Act and the land laws of Hawaii as to the area and value of land that may be conveyed by way of exchange shall not apply to exchanges made pursuant hereto. No such exchange of land publicly owned by the State shall be made without the approval of two-thirds of the members of the board of land and natural resources. For the purposes of this paragraph, lands "publicly owned" means land owned by a county or the State or the United States."

SECTION 3. Section 207, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

"207. Leases to Hawaiians, licenses. (a) The department is authorized to lease to native Hawaiians the right to the use and occupancy of a tract or tracts of Hawaiian home lands within the following acreage limits per each lessee: (1) not more than forty acres of agriculture lands or lands used for aquaculture purposes; or (2) not more than one hundred acres of irrigated pastoral lands and not more than one thousand acres of other pastoral lands; or (3) not more than one acre of any class of land to be used as a residence lot; provided that in the case of any existing lease of a farm lot in the Kalanianaole Settlement on Molokai, a residence lot may exceed one acre but shall not exceed four acres in area, the location of such area to be selected by the department; provided further that a lease granted to any lessee may include two detached farm lots or aquaculture lots, as the case may be, located on the same island and within a reasonable distance of each other, one of which, to be designated by the department, shall be occupied by the lessee as the lessee's home, the gross acreage of both lots not to exceed the maximum acreage of an agricultural, pastoral, or aquacultural lot, as the case may be, as provided in this section.

(b) The title to lands so leased shall remain in the State. Applications for tracts shall be made to and granted by the department, under such regulations, not in conflict with any provisions of this title, as the department may prescribe. The department shall, whenever tracts are available, enter into such a lease with any applicant who, in the opinion of the department, is qualified to perform the conditions of such lease[.]; provided that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the department shall be prohibited from establishing additional criteria to enter into such a lease with an applicant without notifying beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation, unless otherwise determined through the promulgation of federal regulations.

(c)(1) The department is authorized to grant licenses or enter into a general lease as easements for railroads, telephone lines, electric power and light lines, gas mains, and the like. The department is also authorized to grant licenses for lots within a district in which lands are leased under the provisions of this section, for:

(A) Churches, hospitals, public schools, post offices, and other improvements for public purposes; and

(B) Theaters, garages, service stations, markets, stores, and other mercantile establishments (all of which shall be owned by native Hawaiians or by organizations formed and controlled by native Hawaiians).

(2) The department is also authorized to grant licenses to the United States for reservations, roads, and other rights-of-way, water storage and distribution facilities, and practice target ranges.

(3) Any license issued or general lease entered into under this subsection shall be subject to such terms, conditions, and restrictions as the department shall determine and shall not restrict the areas required by the department in carrying on its duties, nor interfere in any way with the department's operation or maintenance activities.

(d) For public purpose or mercantile under this section, the department may grant a license or enter into a general lease, unless otherwise determined through the promulgation of federal regulations; provided that the department, prior to the disposition of Hawaiian home lands, short- or long-term, including easements, shall be required to notify beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation."

SECTION 4. Section 213, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended by amending subsections (b) and (c) to read as follows:

"(b) Hawaiian home loan fund. The moneys in this fund shall be available for the purposes enumerated in section 214 and for payments provided in section 209 and shall not be expended for any other purpose except as provided in subsection (e).

Any interest or other earnings arising out of investments from this fund shall be credited to and deposited into this fund; provided that, upon the department notifying beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation, any interest or other earnings may be credited to and deposited into the Hawaiian home operating fund.

(c) Hawaiian home general loan fund. Moneys appropriated by the legislature for the construction of homes but not otherwise set aside for a particular fund, for construction of replacement homes, for home repairs or additions, or for the development and operation of a farm, ranch, or aquaculture operation; moneys transferred from other funds; and installments of principal paid by the lessees upon loans made to them from this fund, or as payments representing reimbursements on account of advances, but not including interest on such loans or advances, shall be deposited into this fund. The moneys in the fund shall be used for purposes enumerated in section 214 and for payments provided in section 209; provided that, in addition to the conditions enumerated in section 215, farm loans shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1) To be eligible for a farm loan the applicant shall derive, or present an acceptable plan to derive, a major portion of the applicant's income from farming;

(2) Farm loans made for the purpose of soil and water conservation shall not exceed $20,000 and shall be for a term not to exceed ten years;

(3) Subsidies and grants or cost-sharing funds entitled and received by the lessee for soil and water conservation purposes shall be assigned to the department for the repayment of the outstanding farm indebtedness; and

(4) The lessee shall carry out recommended farm management practices approved by a qualified agricultural agency.

The department may create an account within this fund to support the guarantee of repayment of loans made by government agencies or private lending institutions to a holder of a general lease under section 207(a) or license issued under section 207(c)(1)(B).

The department may create an account within this fund for moneys borrowed from government agencies or private lending institutions to be used for any of the purposes enumerated in section 214. Installments of principal and that part of the interest equal to the interest charged to the department by the lender paid by the lessees on the loans made to them from this account shall be deposited into the same account. Any additional interest or other earnings arising out of investments from this account shall be credited to and deposited into this fund; provided that, upon the department notifying beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation, any interest or other earnings may be credited to and deposited into the Hawaiian home receipts fund."

SECTION 5. Section 214, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The department [may] shall make loans from revolving funds to any lessee or native Hawaiian to whom, or any cooperative association to which, a lease has been issued under section 207(a) of this Act or a license has been issued under section 207(c)(1)(B) of this Act. Such loans [may] shall be made for the following purposes:

(1) The repair or maintenance or purchase or erection of dwellings on any tract, and the undertaking of other permanent improvements thereon;

(2) The purchase of livestock, swine, poultry, fowl, aquaculture stock, and farm and aquaculture equipment;

(3) Otherwise assisting in the development of tracts and of farm, ranch, and aquaculture operations, including:

(A) The initial and on-going development, improvement, operation, and expansion of homestead farms, ranches, and aquaculture enterprises;

(B) The liquidation of indebtedness incurred for any of the foregoing purposes relating to farm loans aged less than five years;

(C) The payment of normal and reasonable living expenses of a full-time farmer;

(D) The planning, layout, and installation of soil and water conservation practices; and

(E) Providing relief and rehabilitation to homestead farmers and ranchers due to damage by rain and windstorms, droughts, tidal wave, earthquake, volcanic eruption, and other natural catastrophes, and for livestock disease, epidemics, crop blights, and serious effects of prolonged shipping and dock strikes;

(4) The cost of breaking up, planting, and cultivating land and harvesting crops, the cost of excavating or constructing aquaculture ponds and tanks, the purchase of seeds, fertilizers, feeds, insecticides, medicines, and chemicals for disease and pest control for animals, fish, shellfish, and crops, and the related supplies required for farm, ranch, and aquaculture operations, the erection of fences and other permanent improvements for farm, ranch, and aquaculture purposes and the expense of marketing; and

(5) To assist licensees in the operation or erection of theaters, garages, service stations, markets, stores, and other mercantile establishments, all of which shall be owned by native Hawaiians or by organizations formed and controlled by native Hawaiians."

SECTION 6. Section 216, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

"216. Insurance by borrowers; acceleration of loans; lien and enforcement thereof. (a) The department may require the borrower to insure, in such amount as the department may prescribe, any livestock, aquaculture stock, swine, poultry, fowl, machinery, equipment, dwellings, and permanent improvements purchased or constructed out of any moneys loaned or assured by the department; or, in lieu thereof, the department may directly take out such insurance and add the cost thereof to the amount of principal payable under the loan.

(b) Whenever the department has reason to believe that the borrower has violated any condition enumerated in paragraph (2), (4), (5), or (6) of section 215 of this Act, the department shall give due notice and afford opportunity for a hearing to the borrower or the successor or successors to his interest, as the case demands. If upon such hearing the department finds that the borrower has violated the condition, the department may declare all principal and interest of the loan immediately due and payable notwithstanding any provision in the contract of loan to the contrary.

(c) The department shall have a first lien upon the borrower's or lessee's interest in any lease, growing crops, aquacultural stock, either on his tract or share in any collective contract or program, livestock, swine, poultry, fowl, aquaculture stock, machinery, and equipment purchased with moneys loaned by the department, and in any dwellings or other permanent improvements on any leasehold tract, to the amount of all principal and interest due and unpaid and of all taxes and insurance and improvements paid by the department, and any other indebtedness of the borrower, the payment of which has been assured by the department. Such lien shall have priority over any other obligation for which the property subject to the lien may be security.

(d) The department may, subject to this Act and procedures established by rule, enforce any lien by declaring the borrower's interest in the property subject to the lien to be forfeited, any lease held by the borrower canceled, and shall thereupon order such leasehold premises vacated and the property subject to the lien surrendered within a reasonable time. The right to the use and occupancy of the Hawaiian home lands contained in such lease shall thereupon revest in the department, and the department may take possession of the premises covered therein and the improvements and growing crops or improvements and aquaculture stock thereon; provided that the department shall pay to the borrower any difference which may be due him after the appraisal provided for in section 209 has been made.

(e) The department shall submit a quarterly report to the legislature and beneficiaries. The report shall include data on the inventory of formerly leased properties and disposition status of homestead properties and improvements under the control of the department. The department shall post and maintain a listing of such properties on its website and conduct auctions of properties to the waitlist at least twice per year."

SECTION 7. Section 221, Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

"221. Water. (a) When used in this section:

(1) The term "water license" means any license issued by the board of land and natural resources granting to any person the right to the use of government-owned water; and

(2) The term "surplus water" means so much of any government-owned water covered by a water license or so much of any privately owned water as is in excess of the quantity required for the use of the licensee or owner, respectively.

(b) All water licenses issued after the passage of this Act shall be deemed subject to the condition, whether or not stipulated in the license, that the licensee shall, upon the demand of the department, grant to it the right to use, free of all charge, any water which the department deems necessary adequately to supply the livestock, aquaculture operations, agriculture operations, or domestic needs of individuals upon any tract.

(c) In order adequately to supply livestock, the aquaculture operations, the agriculture operations, or the domestic needs of individuals upon any tract, the department is authorized (1) to use, free of all charge, government-owned water not covered by any water license or covered by a water license issued after the passage of this Act or covered by a water license issued previous to the passage of this Act but containing a reservation of such water for the benefit of the public, and (2) to contract with any person for the right to use or to acquire, under eminent domain proceedings similar, as near as may be, to the proceedings provided in respect to land by sections 101-10 to 101-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the right to use any privately owned surplus water or any government-owned surplus water covered by a water license issued previous to the passage of this Act, but not containing a reservation of such water for the benefit of the public. Any such requirement shall be held to be for a public use and purpose. The department may institute the eminent domain proceedings in its own name.

(d) The department is authorized, for the additional purpose of adequately irrigating any tract, to use, free of all charge, government-owned surplus water tributary to the Waimea river upon the island of Kauai, not covered by a water license or covered by a water license issued after July 9, 1921. Any water license issued after that date and covering any such government-owned water shall be deemed subject to the condition, whether or not stipulated therein, that the licensee shall, upon the demand of the department, grant to it the right to use, free of all charge, any of the surplus water tributary to the Waimea river upon the island of Kauai, which is covered by the license and which the department deems necessary for the additional purpose of adequately irrigating any tract.

Any funds which may be appropriated by Congress as a grant-in-aid for the construction of an irrigation and water utilization system on the island of Molokai designed to serve Hawaiian home lands, and which are not required to be reimbursed to the federal government, shall be deemed to be payment in advance by the department and lessees of the department of charges to be made to them for the construction of such system and shall be credited against such charges when made.

(e) All rights conferred on the department by this section to use, contract for, or acquire the use of water shall be deemed to include the right to use, contract for, or acquire the use of any ditch or pipeline constructed for the distribution and control of such water and necessary to such use by the department.

(f) Water systems in the exclusive control of the department shall remain under its exclusive control; provided that the department may negotiate an agreement to provide for the maintenance of the water system and the billing and collection of user fees. If any provision or the application of that provision is inconsistent with provisions contained in this section, this section shall control.

Water systems include all real and personal property together with all improvements to such systems acquired or constructed by the department for the distribution and control of water for domestic or agricultural use.

(g) The department shall be authorized to negotiate with homestead association governed water agencies to maintain water systems, including water billing, prior to other service providers, unless otherwise determined through the promulgation of federal regulations."

SECTION 8. The provisions of the amendments made by this Act to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, are declared to be severable, and if any section, sentence, clause, or phrase, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held ineffective because there is a requirement of having the consent of the United States to take effect, then that portion only shall take effect upon the granting of consent by the United States and effectiveness of the remainder of these amendments or the application thereof shall not be affected.

SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; Beneficiary Consultation; Leases; Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

 

Description:

Defines "beneficiary consultation". Prohibits the department of Hawaiian home lands from disposing or extending a general lease to non-beneficiaries, unless there are no applicants seeking to enter into a general lease to the use and occupancy of a tract of Hawaiian home lands. Requires the department to notify beneficiaries through beneficiary consultation prior to the disposition of Hawaiian home lands. Adds language to require Section 204 lessees mandate Homestead Beneficiary Agreements. Prohibits the department from establishing additional criteria to enter into a general lease with an applicant, under certain conditions. Specifies that the department may grant a license or enter into a general lease, under certain conditions. Allocates the interest or other earnings from the Hawaiian home loan fund and Hawaiian home general loan fund into their respective funds, under certain conditions. Requires the department to submit a quarterly report to the legislature and beneficiaries. Authorizes the department to negotiate with homestead association governed water agencies to maintain water systems prior to other service providers, under certain conditions.

 

 

 

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