S.B. NO.














relating to special number plates.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Keawalauopuuloa, also known as Puuloa or Pearl Harbor, is a place of cultural significance and now exemplifies the power of positive, community-led change. First settled around 400 A.D., the Maweke family, one of the original families who settled in the area, is credited with bringing sweet potato from Peru to Ewa and dredging an entrance to allow large voyaging canoes to pass over the shallow entrance to Puuloa. Puuloa's ancient settlements near present-day Honouliuli, also known as West Loch, represent the first and oldest settlements on the island of Oahu. The area near Puuloa also served as major political capitals in Ewa that also governed the island of Oahu.

The legislature also finds that Puuloa was an abundant water resource that contained at least thirty loko ia, traditional Hawaiian fishponds, and loi kalo, patches of land for taro cultivation. A convergence of estuaries, perennial freshwater springs, shallow aquifers, and healthy nutrient runoff provided loko ia and loi kalo with regenerative resources needed to feed surrounding settlements. However, Puuloa's aquatic resources have been exposed and contaminated with mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, pesticides, microplastics, lead, and other harmful chemicals and materials from multiple polluted runoff sources. Many toxins present in Puuloa persist in the environment for significant periods of time and bioaccumulate in the tissues of fish, aquatic plants, and wildlife that live in the local ecosystems.

The legislature further finds that Mālama Puuloa is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2015 with a mission to restore Puuloa to abundance. Through a community-driven approach such as workdays, education, partnerships with the community, and land-based programs, Mālama Puuloa focuses on rebuilding relationships between people and the land to heal impacted waters and land. Since its inception, Mālama Puuloa hosted over ten thousand community and school volunteers to restore Puuloa's natural resources. It is therefore appropriate that Mālama Puuloa be honored with a special license plate to further promote the organization's legacy of natural resource management, perpetuation of Native Hawaiian culture, and environmentalism through community-based volunteer programs and education.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to authorize the issuance of special number plates to recognize and honor Mālama Puuloa.

SECTION 2. Chapter 249, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"249-   Special number plates for Mālama Puuloa authorized. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the director of finance shall issue to any registered owner of a motor vehicle, who is a resident of the State, upon completed application and payment of required fees, a special number plate for the registered owner's motor vehicle commemorating Mālama Puuloa, to observe the organization's contributions to the restoration of Puuloa, also known as Pearl Harbor.

(b) The director of finance of the city and county of Honolulu, in consultation with the directors of finance of the counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii; the chiefs of police of the city and county of Honolulu and the counties of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii; and the executive director of Mālama Puuloa shall establish a special number plate design that:

(1) Contains words, images, or both, that indicate the special number plate is issued to recognize Mālama Puuloa; provided that the director of finance of the city and county of Honolulu may establish special number plate designs to jointly or separately recognize Mālama Puuloa;

(2) Is similar in shape and size to the uniform state number plate prescribed by law; and

(3) Does not obstruct the visibility of the number or letters or any other information that is required by law to be on a number plate and is readily identifiable and distinguishable under actual traffic conditions.

(c) The special number plate design shall not:

(1) Infringe upon or otherwise violate any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, or other proprietary or property right;

(2) Represent any obscene or degrading image, idea, word, or phrase;

(3) Advertise or endorse a product, brand, or service that is provided for sale;

(4) Promote any religious belief; or

(5) Promote any philosophy based on prejudice or that is contrary to state civil rights laws.

(d) Each special number plate shall be securely fastened to the motor vehicle in lieu of the uniform state number plate.

(e) The director of finance shall charge a special number plate fee at least equal to the county's cost of providing the special number plate and administrative costs, if any, plus a fundraising fee to be determined by the director of finance in consultation with the executive director of Mālama Puuloa. The fundraising fee shall be in addition to any other state or county fees collected for a motor vehicle registration or license plate.

(f) The director of finance may charge an additional fundraising fee, of the same or a different amount as the fundraising fee established pursuant to subsection (e), for the renewal of a special number plate. If an additional fundraising fee is implemented pursuant to this subsection, the director of finance shall not renew and instead shall revoke the special number plate of the registered owner of a motor vehicle who fails to pay the additional fundraising fee imposed by this subsection.

(g) The revenue generated by the fundraising fees, or a portion of the revenue generated by the fundraising fees as determined by the director of finance, shall be deposited in the name of Mālama Puuloa in a separate county budget account. The director of finance shall determine the most efficient means of directing the net revenue generated by the fundraising fees to Mālama Puuloa, as appropriate, to fund the restoration of Puuloa, or Pearl Harbor.

(h) The director of finance may revoke all special number plates issued pursuant to this section if the total number of registered owners of motor vehicles who obtain the special number plates is less than one hundred fifty within three years of issuance of the first special number plate.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any plates issued pursuant to section 249-9.2.

(j) For the purposes of this section, unless a different meaning appears from the context, "special number plate" means a license plate that commemorates Mālama Puuloa."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

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








Report Title:

Special Number Plates; Malama Puuloa; Motor Vehicles



Authorizes the issuance of special number plates to commemorate Mālama Puuloa.





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