Honolulu, HI (KITV) — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is accusing lawmakers and different agencies of misrepresenting the income they receive from ceded lands.
“Each agency has within its inventory public lands, and some of those lands are ceded lands. And any revenue generated from those ceded lands, 20% of it — that’s in the Admissions Act and in our Constitution — must go to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,” said Senator Kai Kahele, (D) Water and Land Committee Chairperson.
Right now, OHA gets just over $15 million a year from various state agencies’ public land trust revenues — but they believe it should be about $35 million per year.
That’s money from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Transportation and the University of Hawaii — that’s supposed to benefit Native Hawaiians.
“Hopefully we’ve provided good information, data, to educate the legislators on the context of what OHA is facing, so we can be a better partner with the legislature and other state agencies, to provide better services to improve conditions for Native Hawaiians,” said Kamana’opono Crabbe, CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
According to lawmakers, another issue is that over $21 million in excess money has built up over the past several years that neither OHA, nor any state agency, is allowed to touch.
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