As part of its mandate to advocate for Native Hawaiians, each year OHA submits a package of proposed bills to the Hawaii State Legislature, and the agency’s Board of Trustees also votes to take positions on a wide variety of legislation impacting the Hawaiian community. The following are summaries of the bills approved by the OHA Board of Trustees and put forward as OHA’s 2017 state legislative package.
HB335/SB467: OHA’s budget bill requests $3.52 million in state general fund appropriations each fiscal year to support OHA’s budget plans for the upcoming biennium. This request is $530,570 more per fiscal year compared to the previous fiscal biennium. This bill also proposes matching OHA trust fund resources with requested state general funds. By passing this measure, the state would reaffirm its commitment to address the needs of Native Hawaiians, by supporting programs and operations that will directly benefit OHA and its beneficiaries.
Learn more about OHA-2. Review the infographics.
HB336/SB466: This bill would require the Legislative Reference Bureau (“LRB”) to conduct a two-year study to determine whether the per-pupil funding system for public charter schools ensures equal operational per-pupil funding between Department of Education schools and public charter schools, as required under statute. The study is requested to specifically identify all general fund costs and cost categories considered and not considered in the allocation of per-pupil funding to public charter schools. The Department of Education, the Department of Budget and Finance, the State Public Charter School Commission, the Hawai‘i Public Charter School Network, the Hawai‘i Educational Policy Center, and other stakeholder agencies would be requested to assist the LRB in its efforts.
Learn more about OHA-2. Review the white paper.
HCR6/SCR7: This resolution seeks to support community-driven fishery management proposals, by drawing parallels between such proposals and the highly successful, traditional konohiki fishery system. The resolution highlights the historical success of the traditional, ahupua‘a-based konohiki fishing rights system, which relied upon communities’ intimate knowledge of and connection to their nearshore area to sustain abundant resources and a thriving human population prior to Western contact; chronicles the erosion and eventual abolishment of the konohiki fishing rights system and laws, as well as the resulting impacts to nearshore resources and associated cultural lifestyles, traditions, and values of ahupua‘a tenants; and urges the Department of Land and Natural Resources to support culturally-grounded and community-driven fisheries management proposals, to enable kīpuka communities to once again steward, restore, and perpetuate the nearshore resources their cultural traditions and values rely upon.
Learn more about OHA-3. Review the white paper.