(BIVN) – House Bill 893, which funds the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for the fiscal biennium 2019-2021, passed on third reading Tuesday, but not before Representative Gene Ward tried to change the measure with a floor amendment.
The Republican representative tried to increase the amounts for general funds for DHHL’s Administration and Operating Support from $1,750,000 to $28,000,000 in both FY2019 and FY2020.
“It restores the dignity and gives hope,” Rep. Ward argued. “The Hawaiians for a hundred years have waited for the 203,000 thousand acres that were given for what is now a 27,000 person waitlist with only 9,700 hundred houses.”
“I don’t have a lot of Hawaiians in my community,” Rep. Ward said. “I’m not running for higher office, but I’m an old Peace Corps volunteer who quotes Jack Kennedy a lot.”
The remarks prompted a respectful back and forth between Ward and House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke over the funding amounts.
Ward’s floor amendment failed to pass, and House Bill 893 passed third reading with Ward voting no.