Thursday, June 30, 2022 |
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A bill that would establish a new state entity to manage Maunakea might have dodged a bullet.
House Bill 2024 would establish the Mauna a Wakea Stewardship Authority that would take over management of all Maunakea lands above the 6,500-foot line and establish a 10-person board comprised of at least three Native Hawaiian members.
The latest version of the bill also replaced all references to Maunakea with “Mauna a Wakea,” a traditional name for the mountain.
The bill passed third reading in the House last Tuesday and passed first reading in the Senate on Thursday. On Friday it was referred to two Senate committees: the Committee on Higher Education and the Committee on Ways and Means.
The committee selections are significant because Hilo Sen. Lorraine Inouye, chair of the Senate Committee on Water and Land, had previously said she would not agendize the bill if it was referred to her committee.
Inouye previously said she is happy with how the University of Hawaii, which leases the summit lands from the state, has improved its management over the years.
Having avoided death at the Water and Land Committee, the bill might yet survive. However, several lawmakers were displeased with the bill during House committee hearings, saying the measure’s proposals are broadly unpopular with both supporters and opponents of development on Maunakea.
No committee hearings have yet been scheduled for the measure.
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