Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Lingle to Senators: “Please reject current version of Akaka Bill” (Full Text)
By News Release @ 8:50 PM :: 8873 Views :: Akaka Bill


Pledges to Continue to Work with Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation to Amend Legislation



HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle, who has always supported federal recognition for native Hawaiians through the Akaka Bill until material changes were made late last year that are not in the best interest of the state, said today she continues to hold out hope that the bill can be amended to a version that she can support.

However, until amendments are made, Governor Lingle is asking all U.S. Senators to reject the bill in its current form.  In a letter she sent to Senators yesterday, the Governor outlined her opposition to the changes that were made to the Akaka Bill late last year and earlier this year.

“I am saddened that I must now strongly oppose this legislation, as I have strongly advocated for Native Hawaiian recognition throughout my time in office.  But as Hawai‘i’s Governor it is my responsibility to ask you to reject this bill in its current form,” the Governor wrote to the U.S. Senators.

“This is a most difficult position for me to take because I continue to believe that federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, akin to federal recognition for American Indians and Alaska Natives, is the just and right thing to do,” the Governor said in the letter.

The letter noted that the prior version of the bill set up a process of recognition first, establishment of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, followed by negotiations between the entity, the United States, and the State, concerning, among other things, the powers to be exercised by the entity and the assets, including land, to be transferred to the entity.

The Governor explained to the Senators that she opposes the current bill because it vests the entity almost immediately with broad and ill-defined powers.  The bill also explicitly exempts the activities of the entity, and its officers and employees from almost all regulation by the State and the counties, no matter how important the regulations are to the health, safety, and interests of the public. 

The Governor’s letter stated, “The explicit sovereign immunity and exemption from regulation provisions in the present bill allow the Native Hawaiian governing entity, and its leaders, to conduct activities anywhere in Hawai‘i (and potentially any other state) in a way that is inconsistent with State criminal statutes otherwise applicable to all citizens, and state laws governing narcotics and dangerous drugs; civil defense; alcohol and tobacco; fire and building codes necessary for public safety; traffic safety; landlord-tenant matters; clean air, clean water, hazardous waste (and other state pollution statutes); child welfare, child protection, and child safety; public health; food and drugs; and virtually every other conceivable law that serves to protect the public. It is not clear how the State could enforce its interests against unlawful or irresponsible actions by the governing entity or its elected leaders or employees."

In addition, although the bill still prohibits the entity from gambling, the bill strips the State of any direct and effective means of enforcing the anti-gambling provision in court. 

Governor Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett proposed amendments to give the State the power to regulate when public health and safety were involved, to give the State an effective means of enforcing the anti-gambling provision, and to make certain that no person would be exempted or immune from any of the State's criminal statutes. 

The amendments were rejected, and as the Governor’s letter states, “the gap between what is acceptable to the State and what has been offered to the State remains wide and deep. It is fair to say that these negotiations have reached an impasse.”

“It is with great sadness that I oppose the current version of the Akaka Bill, but I believe passage is not in the best interests of Hawai‘i or our people,” said Governor Lingle.  “I still stand willing to work with the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation to craft a bill I can support.”


Attached to the Governor’s letter were three editorials:



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii


Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii


Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii