THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1409

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TRAINING IN NATIVE HAWAIIAN RIGHTS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. In Act 169, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015 (Act 169), the legislature found that pursuant to Hawaii's constitution, statutes, and case law, the State recognizes a mandate to protect native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights. Accordingly, Act 169 required the office of Hawaiian affairs to establish, design, and administer a training course on Hawaiian rights, the sources of these rights, and how the infringement of these rights affects the Hawaiian people. In addition, Act 169 required new members of certain State councils, boards, and commissions to complete the training course within one year of their appointment.

Unfortunately, despite the regular provision of notice to board and commission administrators, a significant number of board and commission members subject to the mandatory training course continue to fail to comply with their training course completion responsibility. As a result, critical land use and resource management decision-making may continue to be less than fully informed on native Hawaiian concepts, practices, and rights.

These issues, in turn, have led and continue to lead to substantial conflict, distrust in government decisions and processes, and even legal action against the State, and may further foreclose critical opportunities to ensure our islands' resiliency and self-sufficiency through culturally-informed land use and resource management.

Accordingly, the legislature intends to ensure a deeper understanding among board and commission members of the State's legal responsibilities to native Hawaiians, Hawaii's political history, the public land trust, native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, Hawaii's water laws and the public trust doctrine, and laws relating to native Hawaiian burials. The legislature further intends to ensure greater recognition and incorporation of native Hawaiian knowledge, values, and rights in land use and resource management decision-making.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Prohibit newly appointed or reappointed council, board, and commission members who fail to meet their training course completion requirement from serving on a permitted interaction group or voting on matters before their respective councils, boards, or commissions;

(2) Require newly appointed or reappointed council, board, and commission members who fail to meet their training course completion requirement to be removed from their respective council, board, or commission, unless they complete the training requirement or are reconfirmed by the Senate prior to the completion of the regular legislative session that follows the deadline to complete their training requirement; and

(3) Require the office of Hawaiian affairs and the department of land and natural resources to compile an annual report of council, board, and commission members who have failed to complete their training course requirement, and to submit the report to the governor and legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular legislative session.

SECTION 2. Section 10-42, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]10-42[]] Training relating to native Hawaiian and Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, natural resources and access rights, and the public trust. (a) All council, board, and commission members identified in section 10-41(a) shall complete the training course administered by the office of Hawaiian affairs pursuant to this section within twelve months of the date of the member's initial appointment[.] or reappointment. All newly appointed or reappointed members who fail to complete the training course within the required time period shall be:

(1) Prohibited from serving on a permitted interaction group or voting on a matter before their respective council, board, or commission until the mandatory training course is completed; and

(2) Removed from their respective council, board, or commission at the end of the regular legislative session following their deadline to complete the training course; provided that members shall not be removed if they complete the mandatory training course or obtain the advice and consent of the senate to continue serving on their respective council, board, or commission by the end of the regular legislative session following their deadline to complete the training course.

(b) Individual votes taken by council, board, and commission members who failed to complete the mandatory training course may be challenged and subject to being nullified and voided following a contested case proceeding.

(c) The office of Hawaiian affairs and department of land and natural resources shall prepare an annual report of all council, board, and commission members who have failed to meet the training requirement in this section as of September 21 of each year, which shall be made available for public inspection at the office of Hawaiian affairs and department of land and natural resources, and submitted to the governor and legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature.

[(b)] (d) The office of Hawaiian affairs, at its own expense, shall establish, design, and administer a training course relating to native Hawaiian and Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, native Hawaiian and Hawaiian natural resource protection and access rights, and the public trust, including the State's trust responsibility. The training course shall include:

(1) Historical information, explanations, and discussions of key state laws, state constitutional provisions, and court rulings that reaffirm and provide for the protection of native Hawaiian and Hawaiian rights; and

(2) A discussion of the importance of public trust resources and various programs to native Hawaiian and Hawaiian rights.

[(c)] (e) The office of Hawaiian affairs, at its own expense, shall develop the methods and prepare any materials necessary to implement the training course, administer the training course, and notify each council, board, and commission identified in section 10-41(a) that attendance in a training course is mandatory.

[(d)] (f) The office of Hawaiian affairs shall offer the training course at least twice per year.

[(e)] (g) The governor shall provide to the office of Hawaiian affairs the names of persons required to take the training course pursuant to this part within thirty calendar days of their initial appointment by the governor."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Department of Land and Natural Resources; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Council; Boards; Commissions; Members; Training

 

Description:

Prohibits newly appointed or reappointed council, board, and commission members from serving if the member has not completed, within the requisite time, the required training course related to Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, Native Hawaiian natural resource protection and access rights, and the public trust, including the State's fiduciary responsibility. (SD2)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.