Akaka Bill gains more support - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Akaka Bill gains more support

Clyde Namuo Clyde Namuo

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two more groups gave the nod to the Akaka Bill.

Now both the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands hope for a speedy passage of the bill.

It would allow Native Hawaiians to form their own governing entity to negotiate with the U.S. Government.

But don't expect to see any public meetings. Both organizations are urging people to go their respective Web sites to see the Akaka Bill and if you have any questions, you can call them.

They've posted side by side comparisons of the old bill and the new one, which includes some changes.

As far as a timeline for passage goes, supporters say they hope it passes through the Senate before they go into recess the entire month of August.

Now if it does pass the senate, it would go back to the house for a final vote and with the president's support, it's possible the measure could become law this year.

"There are a lot of issues on the plate of the Senate, but if there is a little bit of downtime, of course, this bill would be the perfect filler and we certainly hope they would consider doing that," OHA CEO Clyde Namuo said.

Just weeks ago, Governor Linda Lingle gave her support for the Akaka Bill. She even sent letters to all U.S. Senators, urging them to pass it.

In a Hawaii News Now poll, 66 percent of Hawaii residents support Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians.

Opponents say the bill is "racist" and they promise opposition if it passes.

For more information on the Akaka Bill, go to www.oha.org/nhgra or www.hawaii.gov/dhhl.

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