Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole Protecting Family Legacies Act
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD
OFFICE OF NATIVE HAWAIIAN RELATIONS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
SUBCOMMITTEE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE UNITED STATES
October 5, 2021
Thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of the Interior’s (Department) views on H.J. Res. 55, the Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole Protecting Family Legacies Act, a joint resolution to consent to the amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, 42 Stat. 108 (HHCA), made by Act 080 of the Sessions Law of Hawai‘i 2017.
H.J. Res. 55
H.J. Res. 55, which if passed would approve State of Hawai‘i Act 80 (Act 80) and amend the HHCA to (1) lower the minimum required blood degree from one-quarter to one thirty-second for certain enumerated relatives of lessees who may succeed to a lease of lands held within the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust; (2) include brothers and sisters among such enumerated relatives who, if they meet the minimum required blood degree, may succeed to lessees’ leases; and (3) replace the terms “husband” and “wife” with the term “spouse” within the HHCA.
Act 80 is currently under review by the Department per the process outlined in 43 C.F.R. § 48.40. The Department sent a list of questions to the State of Hawai‘i (State) in February 2018 requesting detailed information on the need for the proposed amendment and its effect on the Trust and its beneficiaries. We continue to await the State’s response.
Once we have received a response from the State, we will complete our review and provide our analysis and recommendation on the advisability of approving the proposed amendment to the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the State of Hawaiʻi (Governor, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission). As is our normal practice, we will also copy Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation with the Department’s part 48 analysis and recommendation.
The Department appreciates the opportunity to present its views on H.J. Res. 55.