HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a controversial bill that will eventually lower the blood quantum requirement for family members looking to take over Hawaiian Homestead leases.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 required successors for homestead properties be at least 1/4 Hawaiian in order to take over a lease. Governor Ige's signing will lower that requirement to 1/32, beginning in 2059.
Supporters of the bill noted that the blood quantum requirement grew harder to meet with each passing generation – one current leaseholder, for example, told Hawaii News Now that none of her ten grand-children would qualify under the previous law.
Critics say the bill's signing could eventually pit potential successors against thousands of others on the agency's waiting list.
The measure, which modifies a federal regulation, will still need to be approved by members of the United States Congress.