Kauai News

Virtual briefing about plan for $600 million to reduce waitlist for Hawaiian homelands

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The Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands is hosting a virtual national briefing about the beneficiary $600 million spending plan for the State of Hawaiʻi’s Act 279.

Also known as the “Waitlist Reduction Act,” it is a historic appropriation by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. Act 279 was signed into law by then Gov. David Ige and authorizes $600 million in state general funds to serve waitlist beneficiaries — defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 — who are awaiting a homestead award for residential, farming or ranching.

The briefing will be held via Zoom on Dec. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. To attend, click here. It is being conducted by members of the Soverign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, in association with the Waitlist Homestead Association.

The state Department of Hawaiian Homelands is mandated to issue a spending plan to the Hawai‛i Legislature by Dec. 10, 2022.

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The virtual public briefing will walk through the more than 1,000 volunteer hours by Hawaiians over the past six months, resulting in a 17-page report and plan recommendations. On Dec. 5, the report and recommendations were submitted to Gov. Josh Green and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

“This plan is produced based on a citizen and industry perspective grounded in professional and lived experience of generations impacted by the coming and going of administrations of 16 Governors, 8 during the Territorial period and 8 since Statehood,” said the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands in its announcement about the briefing. “This secondary plan provides approaches to maximize the $600 million in General Funds in serving the Waitlist.

“We hope many of the recommendations will be implemented by the Executive Branch of Governor Green.”

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Some of the plan contributors are elders that have lived through seven of the eight Territorial Governors and all eight of the last eight State of Hawai‛i Governors. Gov. Green is the state’s 9th governor.

These are knowledgeable citizens with first-hand experience of policy choices made by governors and Hawai‛i legislatures in the administration of our Hawaiian Homes Commission Act over the last century.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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Editorʻs note: The original story incorrectly identified the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands as an office of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The association is registered with the federal department and the department has no role in this briefing

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