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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs
2022 legis package

2022 OHA Legislative Package

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 to be introduced as OHA’s 2022 state legislative package. Please continue to check this page for updates on these measures. To receive alerts about opportunities to testify at upcoming hearings, please fill out the “STAY CONNECTED” form located in the sidebar to the right of this page.


Bill numbers and links to the bills’ status and text webpages on the Hawaiʻi State Legislature’s website will be posted when they become available.    

OHA-1: The Public Land Trust

Act 273, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi 1980, enacted section 10-13.5, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, to implement the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ pro rata share and provide that “[t]wenty per cent of all funds derived from the public land trust . . . shall be expended by the [Office of Hawaiian Affairs] . . . for the purposes of this chapter.” The State of Hawaiʻi has formally recognized that “twenty percent of all funds derived from the public land trust” must be set aside to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians and to serve as the receptacle for reparations to the Native Hawaiian People. However, based on independent audits and the state’s own accounting, OHA has determined that the amount currently received falls woefully short of the 20% owed to Native Hawaiians. OHA seeks to prioritize holding the State of Hawaiʻi accountable with this measure.

  • View the Public Land Trust Bill
  • Watch the presentation by OHA Interim General Counsel Everett Ohta to OHA’s Board of Trustees on the Public Land Trust 

OHA-2: Building Back Pono: Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities for a Post-COVID-19 Era

The goal of this measure is to ensure that future developments do not amplify socioeconomic divides in Hawaiʻi as we build back smarter beyond the pandemic. The current environmental review process considers social welfare, economic welfare, and cultural practices – but does not include a specific analysis of whether an action will exacerbate existing socioeconomic disparities. Past projects that have impacted vulnerable communities or widened socioeconomic divides include the Keaukaha, Waimānalo Gulch, and Kahuku windmill controversies. By adding a socioeconomic disparities analysis to the environmental review process, this measure seeks to encourage decision-makers to consider whether a proposed project would unfairly impact disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. 


Developing the 2022 Legislative Package

From July through September 2021, OHA’s Public Policy Advocates met with approximately 50 community organizations to discuss ideas and issues to help develop OHA’s 2022 legislative package. These important conversations yielded over 125 potential legislative concepts, which Public Policy then refined into a proposal for approval by the OHA Board of Trustees.

Ultimately, the Board of Trustees (1) approved the drafting and submission of a Public Land Trust focused bill to the 2022 legislature; and (2) approved the measure entitled Building Back Pono: Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities in the Post-COVID Era to be included in the 2022 Legislative Package.

Public Policy would like to mahalo everyone who participated in the legislative outreach process. The ‘ike that was shared is invaluable; it helps Public Policy to better understand the various issues in the Native Hawaiian community and will help to inform Public Policy’s advocacy for years to come.


Legislative Resources

 

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