East Hawaii News

PLDC-Killing Bill Passed, Sent to Governor

April 11, 2013, 5:37 PM HST
* Updated April 12, 11:57 AM
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The state House of Representatives today agreed to changes made by the Senate to a bill that would dissolve the Public Land Development Corp.

The vote means House Bill 1133 now goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s desk for his signature.

The governor previously indicated he would sign the bill.

The PLDC was established under a 2011 law to create partnerships with the private sector to generate revenues from state lands.

According to the law that became Act 55, the agency would serve as the “development arm” of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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“Public lands in certain areas may serve the state and its people better if managed and developed into suitable recreational and leisure centers…,” the law states.

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However, the agency ran into a firestorm of public protest that began during hearings held to establish its administrative rules.

The protests focused on the PLDC’s authority to bypass certain county and state land-use laws, and for what some said was a quick approval process that prevented the bill from being properly vetted by the public.

Opponents of the agency included the Sierra Club which established a website which identified how each of the state’s legislators stood on the issue.

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The organization applauded today’s move by the House.

“With this vote, the Hawaii legislature took a strong step towards restoring public trust and transparency in our governmental process,” the Sierra Club said in a press release.

“People deserve to have a meaningful voice in what happens to the special places in their community. Back-room deals, political cronyism, and rampant development should not be a part of Hawaii’s future,” it said.

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