How Legislative Vote Went to Cut Ceded Land Revenues

By Trustee Rowena Akana
March 28, 1997

Source Star Bulletin, Letter to Editor

I would like to alert the public as to how the 51 legislators voted on the egregious bill known as HB 2207, a rushed and ill-conceived effort sure to result in future lawsuits because it attempts to slash Hawaiians’ legal share of ceded land revenues by as much as 80 percent.

The compassionate Republican minority almost unanimously rejected HB 2207 (the exception was Barbara Marumoto). Nine humane Democrats stood up to party leadership and voted against the bill: Dennis Arakaki, Eric Hamakawa, Mike Kahikina, Hermina Morita, Scott Saiki, Alex Santiago, Mark Takai, Roy Takumi and David Tarnas.

In favor of the bill were 18 Democrats, including Speaker Joe Souki and those willing to go along with his power trip. Thirteen legislators, including three part-Hawaiians, cast kanalua votes, apparently in an attempt to indicate they were neither for or against the measure. They knew full well, however, that their kanalua votes would count in favor of the bill.

Hawaiians and those who sympathize with our condition must become more involved with what their representatives are doing at the state Capitol on their behalf. I have urged my constituents sitting with me in the gallery on March 4, the day of this unfortunate vote, to relay our impressions to the Hawaiian organizations they represent, and to remind family and friends of the importance of re-evaluating their political affiliation.