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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA Board Chair statement on Public Land Trust bill approved by state legislature

HONOLULU (April 29, 2022) – Today’s welcome news that the conference committee unanimously approved the Public Land Trust bill that will raise annual payments to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from $15.1 million to $21.5 million, provide an additional sum of $64 million, and form a working group is important progress that we hope will lead to increased discussion and a better understanding of the state’s constitutional obligation to the Native Hawaiian people and strategies to fulfill it. The bill clearing conference is an important milestone in the legislative process. Next week, the bill will be voted on by the full Legislature, then go to the governor for approval. 

We mahalo House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Donovan Dela Cruz for their outstanding leadership on this issue as well as our beneficiaries and community for offering their support and testimony. In truth, this is not a bill for OHA – this is a bill for all Native Hawaiians that helps mark a historic legislative session for our people.

Our trustees have implemented a new governance structure and policy framework, we have reorganized the agency, reduced overhead costs, streamlined operations, and redirected resources to our beneficiaries and communities. We are ready to receive and prudently deploy these funds as we continue our mission to better the lives of the Native Hawaiian people and create a thriving lāhui.

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