House committees vote to repeal public land agency

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers from two House committees have voted to repeal the Public Land Development Corporation, bowing to strong community opposition to the agency.

House committees on finance, education and land approved the measure Monday afternoon.

The more extreme bill prevailed over other proposals to merely reform the organization.

House Committee on Water and Land Chair Cindy Evans says it was clear after hearing several hours of testimony Saturday that the public wants to get rid of the agency.

The governor suggested replacing the agency with a new one, but critics say his proposal failed to solve the problem.

County councils and others are concerned about the agency's power to override county zoning and permitting laws.

It was created in 2011 with the goal of increasing state revenue through private-public partnerships.

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