HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2511

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the department of hawaiian home lands.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the mission of the department of Hawaiian home lands is to develop and deliver land to native Hawaiians. The trust, created by Congress through the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as amended (HHCA), set aside public lands to be used for the benefit of native Hawaiians.

As required by the Admissions Act and as a compact with the United States, the State of Hawaii and the people of Hawaii adopted the HHCA as a provision of the Hawaii State Constitution and agreed to faithfully carry out the spirit of the HHCA for the rehabilitation of the Hawaiian race. These trust responsibilities remain to this day.

The legislature also finds that today, the department of Hawaiian home lands is responsible for the management of 203,500 acres of trust lands, 9,959 homestead leases statewide, and 44,096 lease applications. However, over 28,700 applicants remain on the waitlist for residential, agricultural, or pastoral leases.

The challenges faced by the department of Hawaiian home lands in fulfilling its mission are multi-faceted, and include but are not limited to:

(1) Availability of beneficiary preferred land. The greatest demand, and subsequently, the longest waiting list, is for residential property on Oahu. However, the department of Hawaiian home lands' land holdings on Oahu represent only three per cent of its total lands;

(2) Cost of infrastructure. Preparing the department's lands for homesteading with adequate roads, water, sewer drainage, electrical, and other necessities requires a steady source of funding to ensure that environmental compliance, planning, design, and construction phases are coordinated; and

(3) Capital for mortgage financing. With one of the highest costs of living in the nation, department of Hawaiian home lands beneficiaries also face the challenging issue of obtaining capital for mortgages to build homes and reside on trust lands.

The legislature further finds that the revenues collected by the State as of fiscal year 2021 provide an unprecedented opportunity to ensure critical long term access to adequate funding for the department of Hawaiian home lands to meet its challenges. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to provide $600,000,000 to the department of Hawaiian homelands to pursue a multi-pronged approach to eliminating its waitlist.

Specifically, this Act:

(1) Establishes the Hawaiian home lands special fund; and

(2) Appropriates funds into and out of the Hawaiian home lands special fund to enable beneficiaries of the Hawaiian home lands trust to acquire a residence and to enable the department to fulfill its fiduciary duties to beneficiaries.

SECTION 2. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

" . Hawaiian home lands special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury the Hawaiian home lands special fund to be administered by the department of Hawaiian home lands and into which shall be deposited:

(1) Appropriations made by the legislature to the special fund;

(2) Grants provided by governmental agencies or any other source;

(3) Donations and contributions made by private individuals or organizations for deposit into the special fund;

(4) Interest accrued on all amounts in the special fund; and

(5) Any other moneys made available to the special fund from other sources.

(b) Moneys in the special fund shall be used by the department to fulfill its fiduciary duties to beneficiaries of this Act, including providing funding for beneficiaries to acquire a residence.

(c) The department of Hawaiian home lands shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to each regular session that includes:

(1) An accounting of the expenditures from the Hawaiian home lands special fund in the previous fiscal year; and

(2) The number of beneficiaries taken off the waitlist for Hawaiian home lands using the funds of the Hawaiian home lands special fund."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $600,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 to be deposited into the Hawaiian home lands special fund established pursuant to section 2 of this Act; provided that the appropriation ceiling for the Hawaiian home lands special fund shall be $600,000,000.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the Hawaiian home lands special fund the sum of $600,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the department of Hawaiian home lands to enable beneficiaries of the Hawaiian home lands trust to acquire a residence and to enable the department to fulfill its fiduciary duties to beneficiaries.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of Hawaiian home lands for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2022.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Hawaiian Home Lands Special Fund; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the Hawaiian home lands special fund. Appropriates funds into and out of the special fund for DHHL to enable beneficiaries of the Hawaiian home lands trust to acquire a residence and to enable the department to fulfill its fiduciary duties to beneficiaries.

 

 

 

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