THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

150

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

RECOGNIZING THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF THE HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION ACT OF 1920, AS AMENDED.

 

 


WHEREAS, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (Prince Kuhio) was Hawaii's delegate to the United States Congress from his election in 1902 until his untimely passing on January 7, 1922, and was not a voting member of the governing body; and

 

WHEREAS, in 1919, the Territory of Hawaii Legislature unanimously supported the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 1920, Prince Kuhio introduced House Resolution 13500, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, for passage by the United States Congress for the betterment of his beloved Hawaiian people; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States' Senate and House Committees on Territories comprised of a bipartisan coalition of elected officials passed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act out of their committees; and

 

WHEREAS, Senate Resolution 1881, arising out of House Resolution 13500, passed by voice vote in the United States Senate on June 27, 1921, and the United States House of Representatives on June 30, 1921; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was signed on July 9, 1921, by President Warren G. Harding and took effect on September 16, 1921. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, created the Hawaiian Homes Commission whose first Chairman, Wallace R. Farrington, was the Governor of the Territory of Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, the other members of the first Commission included Prince Kuhio, Kahu Akaiko Akana, Rudolph Duncan, and George Cooke; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, was enacted to provide homestead lots for native Hawaiians, who following the Mahele of 1848, lost their parcels due to a myriad of reasons, including the lack of understanding of the recently imposed foreign legal and judicial system, introduction and expansion of large-scale ranching and plantation operations, the decline of taro cultivation due to the abandonment of large irrigation systems that had been maintained by the community, the acquisition of parcels through adverse possession or quiet title actions, and the seizing of parcels as payment for debts and taxes; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was enacted to provide homesteading programs for native Hawaiians by placing approximately 200,000 acres of former crown lands into the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, in which the management of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust was vested in the Hawaiian Homes Commission; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, provides the Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission the authority to propose to the Secretary of the Interior the exchange of Hawaiian home lands for land privately or publicly owned in furtherance of the purposes of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, created the Hawaiian Home Loan Fund where receipts from thirty per cent of the rental of cane lanes and thirty percent of water licenses would reside; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Home Loan Fund was utilized to provide loans to homesteaders to erect dwellings and construct permanent improvements; purchase livestock and farm equipment; and otherwise assist in the development of the tract; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended, sought to increase native Hawaiian land ownership by making the land title inalienable, providing adequate access to water to all homestead holdings, and provide financial assistance until farming operations were underway; and

 

WHEREAS, in 1959, Congress enacted the Admission Act to admit the Territory of Hawaii into the United States as a state. In compliance with the Admission Act, and as a compact between Hawaii and the United States relating to the management and disposition of the Hawaiian home lands, the State adopted the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, as amended, as a law of the State through Article XII of the Hawaii State Constitution, whereby the day-to-day management of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust is vested in the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, an agency of the State of Hawaii, headed by the Hawaiian Homes Commission; and

 

WHEREAS, in its 1925 Report to the Legislature of Hawaii, the Hawaiian Homes Commission wrote that Prince Kuhio "made a notable record and his voice was listened to with respect by staunch friends among national leaders" and "the adoption of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act stands as a monument to his memory"; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that this body recognizes the centennial celebration of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body urges all executive departments to review their policies related to the beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body urges all executive departments to prioritize the goal of housing beneficiaries under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to Hawaii's congressional delegation, Governor, Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all county mayors.

Report Title:

Centennial Celebration; Hawaiian Homes Commission Act; Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaole