Hawaii Legislative Caucus Celebrates Fundraising Successes

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Native Hawaiian causes have won unprecedented funding at the State Capitol. In addition to big, high-profile stories, there was generous funding to end other long-running disputes.

All of the bills are now on Governor Ige’s desk for consideration and on Wednesday, members of the Hawaiian Legislative Caucus gathered to celebrate the successes of the Hawaiian community. Native Hawaiian causes have received several large funding bills.

– 600 million dollars for DHHL

– $336 million to settle homelands waitlist lawsuit, Kalima v DHHL

– $64 million for the OHA for a portion of the revenue and proceeds from public trust lands

– and $14 million for a new Mauna Kea Stewardship and Monitoring Authority that replaces UH as sole steward.

“For the first time in over 50 years, Mauna will be the center,” said cultural practitioner Dr. Noe Noe Wong-Wilson.

At the start of the session, Governor Ige had worried about the future of astronomy on Mauna Kea, but lawmakers believe he is closing in and leaders of both houses say they have support to cancel. any potential veto.

“I’m going to take a chance and say he’s pretty supportive of this bill,” House Speaker Scott Saiki said.

Increasing funding for many critical issues has taken years.

“The Public Land Trust Bill would increase annual revenue payments to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from $15.1 million to $21.5 million, providing an additional $64 million.

“Some of the investments, like the OHA cap increase, allow them to continue to invest at a higher rate,” Senate Speaker Ron Kouchi said.

“We know that the path to fundraising for this ministry has been undermined for many years by the myth that the ministry doesn’t need more money, by the myth that the ministry can’t spend silver. I think the legislature has committed $1 billion to the Hawaiian Lands Department,” said DHHL Vice President Tyler Iokepa Gomes.

Lawmakers have stressed the need for Hawaiians to come to the table.

“The seeds of many of these issues were sown many years ago and it takes sustained, consistent and diligent commitment to get things done in the Legislative Assembly,” said State Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, co-chair of the Native Hawaiian Legislative Caucus.

“There are more ways to serve your community and fulfill your kuleana than just protesting,” he added.

Lawmakers also approved

– $2 million for the Iolani Palace

– $17.5 million for the Bishop Museum

– $38 million for Hawaiian immersion at the DOE

– $400,000 for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission.

“There are a lot of big items, but the Hawaiian caucus has been working on a lot of little things,” said state Rep. Daniel Holt, co-chair of the Native Hawaiian Legislative Caucus.

They also approved a tax exemption for taro cultivation, water cremation as part of Native Hawaiian burial practice as well as resolutions apologizing to the Hawaiian people for banning olelo Hawaii in schools. and urging counties and the state to work with the kumu hula to protect the hula.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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