Passage of Akaka Bill Would Create Havoc

Thurston Twigg-Smith, Honolulu Advertiser, Apr. 4

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka bill, is expected to reach the Senate for a floor vote no later than Aug. 7. It could happen sooner, and by the end of this year the Akaka bill could be law.

By the end of this 109th Congress, in December 2006, a new government exclusively by, of and for Hawaiians could be carved out of the state of Hawai’i forever.

What will Hawai’i be like if the Akaka bill becomes law?

In our view, the state will be smaller. It will own probably 40 percent less land, and the territory and natural resources over which it has jurisdiction will be reduced. It will probably have about $1 billion less money, a smaller tax base, and its ability to earn money will be reduced. Its ability to provide health, law enforcement, homeland security, environmental and other services will be less effective and more expensive because of lack of access and jurisdiction over the sovereign territories of the new Hawaiian government.

It is reasonable to anticipate that the new Hawaiians-only government and its territory will have at least all of the sovereignty, jurisdiction, governing powers and authority of American Indian tribes and reservations.

Unlike typical contiguous Indian reservations, the “reservation” in Hawai’i likely will be a checkerboard of sovereign enclaves on all islands and in neighborhoods, urban and rural.

While every Indian reservation does not employ all the options listed below, all of these powers are available to every reservation and all are actually in place in various reservations. Unless specifically excluded in the Akaka bill, which is not now the case, they could be imposed on us by the new Hawaiian government.ÊWriters of the legislation say “it would be inappropriate” to exclude any of the following:

• Tax-free, regulation-free tribal businesses will cripple local businesses.

• Citizens of the sovereign governing entity will use state and county infrastructure without paying their full share of state or local taxes or necessarily following present zoning ordinances.

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Governor Says She’s Optimistic Akaka Bill Will Become Law

AP, Apr. 14

HONOLULU—Governor Lingle says she believes there are enough votes in Congress for a proposed Native Hawaiian recognition bill to pass. And if it is approved, Lingle says she expects it will become law.

The governor says President Bush hasn’t vetoed any bills while he has been in office, and so she doubts the so-called Akaka bill will be the first.

While the White House has been silent about the bill, Lingle says she sees it as a positive sign that the administration isn’t against it.

State Senate Majority Leader Colleen Hanabusa, however, disputes Lingle’s assertion that Bush’s support isn’t necessary for the bill’s passage. The Democratic lawmakers notes that both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republican majority.

Read the rest of this story here.

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