(BIVN) – Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele announced today the introduction of the Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Protecting Family Legacies Act, bipartisan legislation that “ensures long-term tenancy to beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) and their successors.” H.J.Res. 55, reduces the successorship qualification of a lessee’s spouse, children, grandchildren and brothers or sisters from one quarter to one thirty-second Hawaiian.
“I want to do everything I can to help ensure future generations of Native Hawaiians benefit from the original intent of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act — that is, to return native Hawaiians to their lands with prompt and efficient placement in order to support self-sufficiency and self-determination. The Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Protecting Family Legacies Act accomplishes this by ensuring long-term tenancy to beneficiaries and their successors,” said Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele (HI-02). “My legislation advances the original draft, vision and intent of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole who championed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, legislation he fought to pass in Congress as a non-voting delegate.”
During his time as a Hawaiʻi State Senator back in 2017, Kahele helped the State Legislature pass Act 80, seeking to change the blood quantum qualifications in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, a federal law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Warren G. Harding on July 9th, 1921. Act 80 “was deliberated on by HHCA beneficiaries and homestead associations for many years and deemed necessary because many descendants of HHCA beneficiaries currently face displacement and the loss of their ancestral homes,” a Kahele news release stated. In order for the State of Hawaiʻi to make substantive amendments to the HHCA, consent of the United States of America is required.
Kahele talked about the State’s legislative effort (video below) in January 2017.
“The legislature acknowledged that the current blood quantum requirement for successors creates undue hardship for beneficiaries and interferes with families’ abilities to maintain the equity of their homes,” Tuesday’s announcement, from the now-Congressman Kahele, stated. “The amendment ensures cultural continuity and economic security by removing uncertainty and instability, perpetuating the intent of the HHCA by assuring long-term tenancy to the beneficiaries of this Act and their successors. This bill will maintain stability for homestead lessees and ensure that families are not displaced from their ancestral homes.”
According to Rep. Kahele, The Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Protecting Family Legacies Act is cosponsored by: Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Ed Case (D-HI), Sharice L. Davids (D-KS), Tom Cole (R-OK), Teresa Leger-Fernandez (D-NM), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), David P. Joyce (D-OH), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Aumua Almata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Gregoria Sablan (D-MP), and Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-GU).