House District 13

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

House Bill 1225 passes out of House Judiciary Committee – Establishes Bingo and a Bingo Commission within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2011 at 4:22 am

HONOLULU—On Friday, February 18, 2011, the members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance House Bill 1225. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 1225 allows bingo to be conducted by one licensee at one location on lands designated by the Hawaiian homes commission. House Bill 1225 also creates Hawaii bingo commission within department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to regulate bingo. Allocates 20% of general excise tax on gross receipts to the state general fund; 1% for a compulsive gambler program; up to 4% for administrative expenses; and the balance for deposit into the Hawaiian home lands trust fund.

House Bill 1225 will provide an important tool in fulfilling the mandated responsibility to native Hawaiian by providing additional revenues to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

House Bill 1225 passed on the House session floor today and will now go to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.

Representative Mele Carroll stated that, “The severity of the economic strains within the Hawaiian community as well as the economic slowdown has had an enormously acute impact on native Hawaiians and the state of Hawaii. The importance of increasing revenues for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) cannot be overstated and as such I have fought to pass legislation that will put our people in the best possible position to succeed.

House Bill 1225 is another mechanism for fulfilling our fiduciary responsibility to the native Hawaiian people. For many years the infrastructure required has been greatly underfunded and unable to place many people on the lands. The State has had a hard time providing the resources so that critical services can function at a level where needs are met. By providing more funding methods combined with controlled and successful strategy, the existing infrastructure can be fortified. With these improved opportunities, self sufficiency can be attained by the native Hawaiian people.”

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House Bill 894 HD1, passes the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Could Become Nations First Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium Bill

In News Release on February 11, 2011 at 3:08 am

HONOLULU—On Thursday, February 10, 2011, the members of the Hawaii House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 894 HD1. Introduced by Maui Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 894 HD1 places an immediate 5 month moratorium on both pending and new non-judicial foreclosures.

House Bill 894 HD1 will now go to the Hawaii State Senate for consideration.
“With the passing of House Bill 894 by the full House, Hawaii would become the first state to pass mortgage foreclosure legislation of this magnitude should the Senate vote to pass this bill,” stated Rep. Mele Carroll.

“It is my belief that the questionable lending practices of the financial institutions on the mainland are also causing our local homeowners who are in foreclosures unnecessary confusion, frustration and anger. There has been a lack of direct communication and unwillingness on the part of the financial institutions to work out a remedy or solution to the foreclosure process with the goal of keeping homeowners in their homes.

I strongly feel that this legislation will persuade the industry to assess the situation and come to the table to find a viable solution, be it via mediation, loan modifications, negotiations, a forgiveness process, or other effort to help keep our families in their homes.” added Rep. Carroll.

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HOUSE BILL 1489 IS A PILOT PROJECT, KANAKA VILLAGE ON HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS TO ADDRESS HOMELESS POPULATION

In News Release on February 10, 2011 at 11:35 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the members of the House Committees on Hawaiian Affairs voted to pass House Bill 1489 with amendments. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 1489 would Requires DHHL to develop a pilot program to establish a kanaka village for homeless population whom are or could possibly be beneficiaries of DHHL.

House Bill 1489 will now go to the House Committee on Finance for further consideration.

The purpose of this Act is to address the disproportionate representation of native Hawaiians among the State’s homeless by requiring the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to develop a pilot program to establish a kanaka village for those native Hawaiians that are homeless in Hawai’i. For the purposes of this Act, “kanaka village” means a community where native Hawaiians who are homeless may live in tents and subsist off the land utilizing traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability.

Additionally, House Bill 1489 provides for the designation of an island on which to establish the kanaka village; and establish the kanaka village on Hawaiian home lands.

Rep. Mele Carroll stated, “The passing of House Bill 1489 by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee allows for the establishment of a program to provide for a native Hawaiian village area on Hawaiian Homelands where our native Hawaiians whom are homeless can reside without fear of harassment and eviction that is so prevalent in dealing with the homeless in Hawaii. They must first qualify as a beneficiary in order to be considered. This is also an attempt to fulfill the Hawaiian Home Lands Act where the rehabilitation of our people can take place. We must address this critical issue and not turn our backs on our people.”

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HOUSE BILL 222 PROVIDES THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS FIVE PERCENT OF FUNDS FROM THE PUBLIC LANDS TRUST FOR DEVELOPMENT OF FARM AND HOME OWNERSHIP

In News Release on February 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the members of the House Committees on Hawaiian Affairs voted to pass House Bill 222 with amendments. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 222 provides that 5% of funds derived from the public land trust shall be expended by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for development of farm and home ownership.

Additionally, House Bill 222 targets two primary needs of enhancing the continued improvement of native Hawaiians and support the increase of traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability.

House Bill 222 will now go to the House Committee on Water, Land & Ocean Resources for further consideration.

Rep. Mele Carroll stated, “The passing of House Bill 222 by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee paves the way for additional funds for the widespread establishment of farms and home ownership for native Hawaiians.”

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Hawaiian Affairs Passes House Bill 1225 Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll

In News Release on February 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the members of the House Committees on Hawaiian Affairs voted to pass House Bill 1225. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill 1225 allows bingo to be conducted by one licensee at one location on lands designated by the Hawaiian Homes Commission. It creates a Hawaii Bingo Commission within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to regulate bingo. Additionally House Bill 1225 allocates 20% of general excise tax on gross receipts to the state general fund; 1% for a compulsive gambler program; up to 4% for administrative expenses; and the balance for deposit into the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Fund.

House Bill 1225 will now go to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Rep. Mele Carroll stated, “With the passing of House Bill 1225 by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee we have begun the process for establishing an additional revenue source for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Trust and the State General Funds. The state’s fiduciary responsibility to provide adequate funding to the DHHL Trust as required in the Hawaii State Constitution, Article VII, Section I can finally be realized should Bingo be allowed in Hawai’i.”

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House Bill 1483 Reduces Department of Agriculture Water Rates for Molokai Irrigation Users and Provides Relief for Molokai Homestead Farmers

In News Release on February 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, the members of the House Committees on Hawaiian Affairs voted to pass House Bill 1483. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, House Bill1483 directs the Department of Agriculture to provide water to Molokai Irrigation System users who lease tracts of land under Section 207 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 as amended, at a reduced rate. It also requires the Department of Agriculture to forgive past due bills for the provision of irrigation water for Molokai homestead farmers.

House Bill 1483 will now go to the House Committee on Agriculture, and the Committee on Water, Land & Ocean Resources for consideration.

Rep. Mele Carroll said, “With the severe economic impacts facing Molokai and it’s residents on a daily basis, the passing of House Bill 1483 by the Committees on Hawaiian Affairs will bring some much needed relief by allowing the Department of Hawaiian Homelands farmer lessee’s whose very lives are dependent on the availability of affordable water to continue to do so at a reduced rate. House Bill 1483 also provides the necessary financial relief that is imperative for Molokai’s homestead farmers.”

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House Bill 895 Establishes an OHA Appointed Membership to Commissions Whose Decisions Have Profound Impacts on the Hawaiian People

In News Release on February 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, the members of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs voted to pass House Bill 895 with amendments. Introduced by Representative Mele Carroll, the purpose of this bill is to expand the membership of the commissions on Water Resource Management, Board of Land and Natural Resources, and the Land Use Commission respectively by one member who represents the interests of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The bill will now advance to the Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources for their consideration.

House Bill 895 would place a much needed member on those commissions to give guidance and direction on how issues of cultural and traditional use of natural resources can (and do) have major implications for the Native Hawaiian population.

Rep. Mele Carroll says, “The focus of this legislation is to provide representation on the decision making boards on behalf of the Hawaiian people. By having an additional member with the interests of the Hawaiian people at the forefront, commission decisions can be made with greater insight to the cultural and traditional implications involved. It is more important than ever for the people of Hawaiian descent to have a greater role in the decision making process.”

The OHA Administration will recommend that the OHA Board of Trustees support House Bill 895 with amendments. Too often, state boards and commissions render decisions that do not give full and thorough consideration to the impact state actions have on constitutionally-protected traditional and customary Native Hawaiian rights. By providing OHA a seat at the table, HB 895 would ensure that Native Hawaiians will have greater influence on the manner in which our natural and cultural resources – as well as the traditional Native Hawaiian practices that ¬are intrinsically connected to those resources – are protected.

We respectfully suggest that the bill be amended to delete the phrase “to represent the interests of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs”, which is used three times in the bill where the OHA appointments are required. In our view, the phrase is unnecessary.

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House Bill 696 exempts holders of Kuleana Lands with Appurtenant Water Rights From Paying Taxes and Fees for Their Water

In News Release on February 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Honolulu – Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, The Hawaiian Affairs Committee today passed House Bill 696. The bill was introduced by Representative Mele Carroll and exempts owners of kuleana lands from paying taxes and fees for their water. House Bill 696 now advances to the Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources for their consideration.

This legislation insures that the traditional and customary rights of the owners of these lands will not be subjected to taxes that could threaten or harm their rightful use. Some of which include, but are not limited to, the cultivation or propagation of taro on one’s own kuleana and the gathering of hihiwai, opae, o’opu, limu, thatch, ti leaf, aho cord, and medicinal plants for subsistence, cultural, and religious practices.

Representative Mele Carroll expressed her gratitude, “I am very pleased that the Hawaiian Affairs Committee has passed this bill exempting the kuleana land owners from these unnecessary and burdensome taxes. The longstanding customary rights and cultural traditions of these land owners should never be viewed or used as revenue generating streams for the State.”

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Rep. Mele Carroll Introduces House Bill 224, Establishes Special Account for the Preservation and Archeological Permit Fees to Fund Fee Management

In News Release on February 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

HONOLULU—On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, members of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs voted unanimously to pass House Bill 224 with amendments. The bill will now advance to the Committee on Water, Land and Ocean Resources for their consideration.

House Bill 224 Establishes a special account in the historic preservation special fund and requires that archaeological permit fees collected be deposited into the account to cover the costs of managing the permits. It also directs the department of land and natural resources to increase permit fees from $50 to no less than $1,000.

Representative Mele Carroll introduced the bill and sees its unanimous passing as a sincere effort in establishing the funding and critically needed infrastructure for the management of permit fees for archeological purposes.

“This bill establishes the means to fund the management process for archeology permit fees and will help to further protect areas of significant Hawaiian importance for generations to come.” said Representative Mele Carroll.

The amendments to House Bill 224 included recommendations offered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to exempt those who will be conducting archeological activities strictly for education.