In a surprising turnaround, three state senate committees voted tonight to ‘hold’ the OHA settlement bill, meaning that the bill is dead, at least for the time-being.
The bill, House Bill 266, superceded a senate version which the House voted last month to kill, citing a number of legal disagreements with the executive branch.
In the last several days, a number of more conservative Hawaiian constituencies joined the progressive forces which had opposed the settlement agreement since its release in January. The Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly (formerly the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations) met this past weekend and decided to oppose the bill. Robin Danner, president and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and Colin Kippen, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council, also moved into the ‘oppose’ column.
With the settlement legislation dead in committee, there are still a number of questions for OHA to answer: why did they pursue this now? And will they try again?
From the Hawaii Standard