Monday, February 6, 2012

OHA Kaka'ako Land Bill HB2521

Gov. Abercrombie testifies in support of HB2521
HB2521 is an Administration bill aimed at resolving the State's $200 million debt to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs relating to ceded land receipts between November 7, 1978 and July 1, 2012. The bill would transfer 30 acres of land at Kaka'ako Makai to OHA, permanently settling the debt without the State paying any cash. Governor Abercrombie personally submitted testimony before the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and the Committee on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources, who held a joint session to address HB2521.

There was overwhelming support for the measure from the administration, OHA, numerous native Hawaiian organizations, and the community at large. Despite the strong support, questions still remain regarding critical aspects of the legislation. The primary concern is whether or not the 30 acres of land at Kaka'ako Makai have a high enough value to satisfy the court decision. Environmental sensitivity led to a moratorium on residential development on the the land in question. This prohibition devalues the land by restricting potential revenue streams. In an effort to give lawmakers additional time to resolve this issue and more, decision making on the bill was deferred by Chairs Hanohano and Chang.

A standing-room only crowd attended the hearing
The Boards will make their decision and vote on HB2521 Thursday, February 8th at 11:15am in room 329 of the Capitol. The hearing notice may be viewed here.

The Kaka'ako Makai land that HB2521 would award to OHA

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