Senate Judiciary Committee Hosts Hawaiian Leaders Roundtable to Address Hawaiian Home Lands Audit 7/24/13 & 8/14/13

Sebator Clayton Hee

Senator Clayton Hee

Click here for the updated announcement.

July 24, 2013
10:00am to 4:00pm
Hawaii State Capitol Conference Room 229

August 14, 2013
1:00pm to 5:00pm
Hawaii State Capitol Conference Room 229

State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Clayton Hee has agreed to host a roundtable discussion of Hawaiian leaders working to address issues identified by an April audit report on the State Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).  Organizers of the roundtable discussion include the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) and the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands (AHHL), all community organizations that are experts on the Hawaiian Home Land program.

The roundtable will focus specifically on the audit findings, and pull together a group to work on many of the items called for by the auditor.

CNHA operates one of most successful loan programs serving residents on Hawaiian Home Lands statewide.  Certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the nonprofit manages the single largest financial education program, reaching over 2,500 in the last two years, and originates consumer, commercial and home loans in the Hawaiian community.

HCA, a close ally and partner of CNHA, is one of five HUD certified housing counseling agencies in the state that delivers foreclosure prevention services to help families keep their homes.  Since October 2012, HCA has utilized funding through the National Mortgage Settlement to partner with AHHL in establishing a comprehensive foreclosure prevention strategy for Hawaiian Home Lands Beneficiaries that includes community outreach, Beneficiary Advocacy, and individualized financial counseling.

AHHL is an advocacy organization dedicated to the 26,000 Hawaiians sitting on the waitlist, also with significant expertise not only on the federal law that created the land trust, but in family finance and lending strategies serving families with economic challenges.

Related articles: Hawaiian Community Leaders Meet to Develop Solutions for DHHL Audit Findings; State Senate Judiciary Committee Hosts Hawaiian Leaders Roundtable to Address Hawaiian Home Lands Audit – 7/24/13, 8/14/13, 9/3/13.

Governor Vetoes 3 Bills, 288 Become Law in Session of ‘First Steps’

Two Bills Introduced by Sen. Shimabukuro to Become Law: SB68 HD1 & SB1265 CD1

Governor’s Press Release on 9 July 2013.

Governor Neil Abercrombie

Governor Neil Abercrombie

After reviewing more than 290 bills passed by the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today notified legislators of his decision to limit his vetoes to three.

The Governor this year signed a total of 269 bills into law, and Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui this afternoon will sign seven as Acting Governor. Twelve other measures will become law without signature.

“I wish to congratulate legislators for working together in a productive session that resulted in several significant first steps for our state,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “For the first time, the State of Hawaii will be codifying into law a commitment to preparing young children for success in school and life by ensuring that all island keiki have access to preschool (Act 169). We are also knocking down barriers to renewable energy, allowing greater segments of our community to become active participants in our shared energy future (Act 211). And, we have set our state on a responsible fiscal course, fulfilling the promise to pay back funds borrowed from our fiscal reserves (Acts 266 and 267) and creating a new statutory requirement to address long-term unfunded liabilities (Act 268).

“We will look back at 2013 as the year that launched truly transformative measures that will have lasting positive impacts on the future of our state.”

On June 24, Gov. Abercrombie had notified the Legislature of his intent to veto nine measures. After hearing from various legislators & members of the community, the Governor removed 9 bills from the veto list, and vetoed only the 3 following bills:

HB654 (Related to Nursing)

HB763 (Relating to the State Building Code)

HB988 (Relating to Native Wildlife)

Among the 9 bills removed from the original veto list that will now become law without the Governor’s signature are 2 that were introduced by Sen. Maile Shimabukuro:

SB68 HD1 – Sentencing/Drug Offenses:  Allows judges discretion in setting incarceration terms when sentencing drug offenders in certain class B and class C felony cases to make the length of the sentence proportionate to the offense and  related conduct. Excludes certain offenses.

SB1265 CD1 – Owner’s Agreement; Attorney’s Fees; Unclaimed Property: Specifies that an owner’s agreement to locate and recover property that is presumed abandoned, shall be unenforceable and may be subject to an action to reduce the  compensation amount if the agreement provides for compensation exceeding 25% of the total value of the property.  Provides an exception to the fee limit in circuit court upon approval of the court.

Bills signed into law: SB68 (Act 280) and SB1265 (Act 286)

On June 24, 2013, the Governor listed nine measures that were under consideration for vetoes. Among those listed were SB 68 and SB 1265, two bills introduced by Senator Maile Shimabukuro. However, the July 9 veto deadline passed, and those bills became law without the Governor’s signature as Act 280 and Act 286.
Related links: Bill seeks leeway for judges in felony drug cases (Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Governor vetoes 3 bills (KITV News)