East Hawaii News

Governor Ige Signs OHA Packet Bills

June 30, 2015, 5:14 PM HST
* Updated June 30, 5:18 PM
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Governor David Ige signed three bills relating to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Tuesday: HB207, HB209, and SB1166. The governor also signed HB1007, in relation to limited purpose driver’s licenses.

House Bill 207, also known as Act 169, which requires certain state councils, boards, and commissions to attend a course that would be administered through OHA on native Hawaiian customs and rights, was among the major signings Tuesday.

The bill, signed into law, will take effect on July 1.

Among the members who will participate in the OHA administered course are those in the Land Use Commission, Board of Land and Natural Resources, Commission on Water Resources Management, Environmental Council, the Agribusiness Development Corporation, Board of Agriculture, Legacy Land Conservation Commission, Natural Area Reserve Systems Commission, Hawai’i Historic Places Review Board, and the Board of Health.

“Harmony among a diverse population and a strong respect for our host culture is what gives Hawai’i its reputation of a place of Aloha,” said Representative Kaniela Ing, Chairperson of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs. “Some recent controversies have called into question our State’s commitment to Native Hawaiian issues. This measure takes basic steps to ensure that the next generation of public servants will be more knowledgeable of the historical and cultural context of the place they are tasked to make decisions for.  After all, Native Hawaiian issues are everyone’s issues, and everyone’s issues are Native Hawaiian issues.”

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Signed House Bill 209, also known as Act 170, is in relation to OHA’s budget.

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Senate Bill 1166, known as Act 171, signed into law Tuesday, clarifies the practice of traditional Hawaiian cultural burials. Under the law, these burials do not constitute a violation of the penal code’s prohibition of abuse of a corpse.

Also on Tuesday, Governor Ige signed House Bill 1007, providing a limited purpose driver’s license to those who do not have proof of authorized presence in the United States, but who are qualified for a license in every other way.

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