19 Jul 2010

Changes made to indigenous government bill in Hawai'i

11:45 am on 19 July 2010

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is supporting changes made to legislation that would allow Native Hawaiians to form their own government.

The OHA Board of Trustees has voted unanimously in favor of the amendments to the bill, which were made to regain the backing of Republican Governor Linda Lingle.

The changes clarify that a future Hawaiian government would be subject to state laws as well as health and safety regulations.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona told the Star Advertiser newspaper the modifications will allow the bill to move forward.

The measure could get a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this month.

Then it would have to return to the U.S. House for a final vote before heading to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle has also stated her support for the move.