Latest Episode of Maui Mana‘o is out

Maui senators J. Kalani English, Rosalyn Baker and Gilbert Keith-Agaran talk about the issues affecting Maui and how the State Senate is addressing those issues in the latest episode of Maui Mana‘o.

If you’ve been curious about airport and highway modernization on Maui, the status of naming the new high school in Kihei after the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink, funding for Maui Memorial Medical Center, and issues facing Hawaiian Homelands, then watch Maui Mana‘o.

Legislative Committees to Receive Updates on Issues Related to DHHL and OHA

Honolulu- The Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaii Affairs will be conducting a series of informational briefings to receive updates on several emergent issues being addressed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

The briefings will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the State Capitol conference room 329.

During the briefing the committees and departments will discuss:

  • Beginning at 9:30 a.m.: The Audit of the DHHL Homestead Services Division, the outcome of the DHHL Roundtable Discussions that occurred at the Hawaii State Capitol and the 12th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention in August and September 2013, completion of the Nelson v. HHC settlement payments, vacant DHHL properties, and other community concerns.
  • 1:30 p.m.: The process and plan of execution for the 2014 primary election of candidates for Trustee of OHA.
  • Directly followed by: Corrective and/or other actions taken or planned in response to the audit conducted by the Office of the State Auditor (Report no. 13-07 of September, 2013) on the management and condition of OHA.

One of the goals of these briefings is to try and come up with ways for DHHL and OHA to achieve greater financial self-sufficiency and to maximize their resources, similar to the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate trust,” said Senate Hawaiian Affairs Chair Maile Shimabukuro.

“From these hearings, we hope to have thoughtful discussion on issues and concerns that have been raised, and to identify the best solutions to better serve the Hawaiian people and our communities,” added Representative Faye Hanohano, Chair of the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, and Hawaiian Affairs.

Other relevant issues will also be discussed.

Hawaii State Senate Announces Transformation in Committee Lineup

Honolulu–The Hawaii State Senate today unveiled changes to its committee lineup and chairmanships. Two committees have been added, splitting the current Committee on Tourism and Hawaiians Affairs (THA) into two separate subject matter committees. The new committees are Tourism (TSM) and Hawaiian Affairs (HWN).

Senator Gilbert Kahele will chair TSM with Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran serving as vice-chair. Senator Maile Shimabukuro will chair HWN with Senator Clayton Hee serving as vice-chair.

In the beginning of the session we acted quickly to organize and kept changes to a minimum so that we could focus our attentions on the issues and prepare for the 2013 session,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “Now that session is over, we are afforded the capacity to listen to feedback and evaluate ourselves. In doing so, we have been able to make some positive changes.  These new assignments maximize the skills and interests of each of our members, while providing us with greater opportunity to focus on the individual subject areas.”

Currently, Senator Brickwood Galuteria has served as both the Majority Leader and Chair of THA. The new committee assignments will allow the newly appointed chairs to take on greater leadership roles while providing Galuteria with more flexibility to serve in his continued capacity as Majority Leader.

I am pleased with this new leadership lineup for the committees,” said Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria. “Understanding the role of a chair makes my Senate Majority Leadership assignment more effective. I look forward to working with both Chairs Kahele and Shimabukuro in their new capacities and most importantly to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues to advance the priorities of the Senate Majority.”

Additionally, the Senate announced changes to the vice-chairmanships of the Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Water and Land (WTL). Under the new changes Senator Brian Taniguchi will serve as vice-chair of CPN and Galuteria as vice-chair of WTL.

 

The change in committee assignments will take effect July 1, 2013.

Audit of DHHL Homestead Service Division to be Discussed by Senate Committee

Honolulu- The Senate Committee on Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs will be holding an informational briefing to address concerns raised in the Audit of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ (DHHL) Homestead Services Division and other related departmental issues.   The Office of the Auditor (Auditor) released a report on the division (Report No. 13-02) in April of this year.

The briefing will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. in the State Capitol’s Conference Room 229.

Among the concerns found in the report is the commission’s failure to meet its fiduciary obligations, as well as the department’s lax management of lessee loans. The report states that in attempting to provide long-term tenancy to lease beneficiaries, the commission has thwarted collection or cancellation of chronically delinquent homestead leases, consequently tying up leases and staff resources to the detriment of the beneficiaries still waiting for leases. The report further found that, as of June 30, 2011, there were 9,922 homestead leases statewide and 26,170 applicants waiting for homestead leases. In FY2011, the department issued 177 new homestead leases. That year, the department collected $61.1 million in revenues and accrued $70 million in expenses.

I’m glad that the department has recognized many of the Auditor’s concerns and is seeking to aggressively look at and take action on the loan delinquency issues,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs. “This is not a time to point fingers, but is a time for self-reflection. My hope is that through this report and discussion that we will be able to take steps to resolve these issues and enhance the overall performance of the agency. Our beneficiaries and the public at large deserve greater transparency and accountability.”

The following officials from the DHHL and the Auditor will be present during the discussion:

  • Jobie Masagatani, Director, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • Darrell Young, Deputy Director, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • Commissioners, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • Jan K. Yamane, Acting State Auditor

DHHL administers about 200,000 acres of public lands set aside for agricultural and pastoral use to be leased to native Hawaiians, upon which they may live, farm, ranch, and engage in commercial or other activities. The department, headed by a nine member executive board, the Hawaiian Homes Commission, is responsible for the provision of financial and technical assistance to native Hawaiians (those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood), which enables them to enhance their economic self-sufficiency and promote community-based development. According to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, by doing this, the traditions, culture, and quality of life of native Hawaiians will be self-sustaining.

No public testimony will be accepted.

State Senate Confirms Jobie Masagatani as Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission

(Senators confirm Jobie Masagatani as Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.)

Honolulu –  The Hawaii State Senate today confirmed Jobie Masagatani as the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.  Upon confirmation, Masagatani had been serving as the Commission’s Chairperson Designate.

Jobie is well qualified to serve the people of Hawaii and the constituents of the Hawaiian Homes Commission,” said Senate Majority Brickwood Galuteria, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and Tourism.  “I am confident that she has the vision and commitment to carry out the mission of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.”

She began her career as a Budget Examiner in the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President of the United States. She returned to Hawaii in 1990 and worked as a Land Investment Analyst for the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.  In 1993, she became a Project Manager for Hawaii Real Estate Research and Education Center at the University of Hawaii.  Masagatani then served as Deputy to the Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission from 1995-2002.

Subsequently, she took a position as Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Queen’s Health Systems where she was instrumental in developing the strategic plan to address Native Hawaiian health issues. Masagatani eventually returned to public service when she was hired as the Public Policy Program Manger at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the School of Education at Northwestern University and continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Affairs/Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University.

Senators Respond to Landmark Signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll

(Legislators joined together to sign the petition at Washington Place.) (L-R Senator Pohai Ryan, Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, Senator Michelle Kidani, Representative Faye Hanohano, Senator Gilbert Kahele and Senator Clayton Hee.)

Honolulu- Officials and members of the public joined together at Washington Place today for the historic signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll. The signing was accompanied by a petition of signatures in support of the roll.

State Senators offered the following remarks in response to the landmark signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll:

Today’s signing is a great testimony to the courageous individuals who decades ago saw injustice and stepped forward,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, chairman of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs. “The inauguration of this roll marks the next step in the framework towards self-governance for the Hawaiian people.”

The signing of this legislation signifies an important stage in the long journey towards justice and self-determination for the people of the first nation of these islands,” said Senator Clayton Hee, author of the measure which established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. “The people of Hawai‘i and, in particular, the native Hawaiian people have the opportunity and privilege to move forward together toward self determination with a renewed sense of optimism for our future together as one.”

This is a historic and positive day for the State of Hawai‘i and the Native Hawaiian community, many have waited decades for this recognition,” said Senator Malama Solomon, who was the chief negotiator of the measure. “The signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll moves forward the reconciliation process for mending relations between the State of Hawai‘i and the Native Hawaiian people.“

(Senator Galuteria and Trustee Apo joined Senators Akaka and Inouye and signed the petition in Akaka’s Washington D.C. office.) (Courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka)

In 2011 Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill 1520, the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, into law as Act 195. In addition to formally recognizing Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai‘i,” the measure also established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC).

Comprised of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat, NHRC was tasked with the responsibility of preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the act. The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

Senator Brickwood Galuteria Plans Trip to Nation’s Capital to Attend Indigenous Symposium and Native Hawaiian Roll Signing

Honolulu- Hawaii State Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria will travel to our nation’s capital next week where he will attend the inaugural First Stewards Symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall, from July 17-20, 2012. While in Washington, D.C., Senator Galuteria will also join Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye for the historic signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll.

A first of its kind national event the First Stewards Symposium will examine the impact of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures and explore solutions based on traditional ecological knowledge. During the event, Senator Galuteria will provide remarks and moderate a panel discussion on how Pacific cultures adapt to global warming and climate change.

Indigenous people remain key stakeholders in environmental decisions currently being made at the local, state, and national level. For indigenous people culture, nature, and land are inseparable,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, who chairs the Senate Committee on Native Hawaiian Affairs. “Platforms like these underscore the importance for government to consult with indigenous groups prior to making policy decisions that have significant impact on the welfare of our country’s first stewards.”

On the closing day of the symposium, Senator Galuteria will join Senators Akaka and Inouye for the landmark signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll. The signing is scheduled to occur in tandem with the roll signing at Washington Place.

The signing of the Native Hawaiian Roll will be remembered by future generations to come,” said Senator Galuteria, who was one of the primary introducers of the 2011 measure which established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. “The inauguration of this roll marks the next step in the framework towards self-governance for the Hawaiian people.”

In 2011 Governor Neil Abercrombie enacted Senate Bill 1520, the Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill, into law as Act 195. In addition to formally recognizing Native Hawaiian people as “the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii,” the measure also established the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC).

Comprised of five members, one from each county and one at-large seat, NHRC was tasked with the responsibility of preparing and maintaining a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians as defined by the act. The roll is to be used as the basis for participation in the organization of a Native Hawaiian governing entity.

Statement by Senator J. Kalani English in Response to Governor’s Veto of Hawaiian Language Bill

Honolulu- Today Governor Neil Abercrombie vetoed House Bill 1984, requiring the use of the Hawaiian language.

If passed the bill would have designated the month of February as “Olelo Hawai‘i Month” to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language. The measure would have further required that all letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the State and other government departments include accurate and appropriate spelling and punctuations of Hawaiian names and language.

Senator J. Kalani English issued this statement in response to Governor Neil Abercrombie’s veto of HB 1984 today:

While I am saddened that House Bill 1984 was not signed into law, I am proud of the great strides that have been made by the Legislature and the people of Hawaii to bring about a renaissance of Hawaiian language,” said Senator J. Kalani English, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs.

“Since 1978 the Hawaii Constitution has recognized the Hawaiian Language as one of the official languages of the State. The enactment of this measure would have further codified the Hawaiian language.”

“I have spoken with Governor Abercrombie who has assured me that a working group will be created to assess the implementation of Hawaiian language. I hope to work with the Governor and others to further evaluate how Hawaiian language can be appropriately incorporated into our state government.”

Legislative Conference Committee Passes Hawaiian Language Mandates

HONOLULU- A Senate and House Conference Committee passed House Bill 1984 Senate Draft 1, Conference Draft 1, requiring the use of the Hawaiian language this morning. The conference draft will now go before the full Senate and House for a floor vote.

The bill designates the month of February as “‘Olelo Hawai‘i Month” to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language. The measure further requires that all letterheads, documents, symbols, and emblems of the State and other government departments include accurate and appropriate spelling and punctuations of Hawaiian names and language.

In 1978, the Hawaii Constitution was amended to recognize the Hawaiian language as one of the two official languages of the State. Since then, great strides have been made to bring about a renaissance of the Hawaiian language.

The passage of this bill further codifies the Hawaiian language as one of the official languages of the State,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, who is a member of the Conference Committee that passed this bill.

The Senate has passed similar bills in the past six years, but it has stalled in the House.

For years we have asked for parity in the appropriate use of Hawaiian language as one of two official languages, I am elated that this measure is moving forward and will soon become law,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, represents District 6, (Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Kaho‘olawe). “This is a great day for those of us who carry on the language of our Grandparents’ parents.”

If the measure is passed by both the Senate and the House and it is signed into law by the Governor, the measure will take affect on January 1, 2013.

To view video click here.

Settlement Regarding Ceded Lands Heading to Governor’s Desk

HONOLULU – Senate Bill 2783, relating to public trust lands, was passed out of the House of Representatives today.  The bill will make its way to the Governor next.

This is an historic day for the State of Hawaii, as many have waited decades for a resolution to this issue regarding ceded lands,” said Senate President Shan Tsutsui.  “I commend all parties involved for their hard work and commitment to shepherding the passage of this bill.”

“The passage of this landmark legislation is a major step in the right direction for the Native Hawaiian community and Hawaii as it brings closure to a long-standing dispute,” said Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, chairperson for the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs.  “I thank the House for moving this bill forward and for supporting this measure.”

Senate Bill 2783 would convey Kaka‘ako Makai lands to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).  The State and OHA agreed that an approximately $200 million settlement represents a reasonable compromise of the disputed claims.  To satisfy that $200 million amount, the State is conveying contiguous and adjacent parcels in Kaka‘ako Makai.   The parcels are near Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park, including Fisherman’s Wharf.

If the measure is approved by the Governor, all disputes and controversies relating to OHA’s portion of income and proceeds from the public trust lands will be extinguished and discharged as well as bar all claims, suits, and actions for the period November 7, 1978 through June 30, 2012.

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