Panel supports bill to help Hawaiians keep ancestral land

Public Pilaa Beach, center, below hillside and ridge top land is owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, near Kilauea on the north shore of Kauai in Hawaii. (Ron Kosen/ via AP, File)

HONOLULU — A state Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would force landowners into mediation before they are allowed to file lawsuits to acquire small parcels awarded to Hawaiian commoners during mid-19th century land reforms.