Civil Beat - March 28, 2011

In a departure from form, some hearing notices for the Hawaiian affairs committees in the Hawai`i Legislature this session have included the following quote -

"He lā hou, e ho’oulu"

A new day, building a nation

For example, the quote can be seen near the top of a hearing notice for a resolution to be heard Monday in House Hawaiian Affairs. The resolution asks the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to consider the idea of "kanaka villages" for homeless Native Hawaiians.

Most notably, the nation-building quote has graced several hearing notices for bills that actually have something to do with building a Hawaiian nation.

Two of those bills — Senate Bill 1520 and Senate Bill 1 — recognize Hawaiians as "the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai`i," and establish a commission to "prepare and maintain a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians" for the purpose of organizing a convention of qualified Native Hawaiians, respectively.

Both measures have already comfortably passed the state Senate. Last week, both cleared House Judiciary and were sent to House Finance, the final hurdle before making it to the full House for a floor vote.

Both measures have been amended, and final language will have to be agreed upon in conference committee and floor votes before heading to the governor's desk.

But, if they do survive and become law, they would accomplish some of the same goals as the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, more commonly known as the Akaka bill.
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