OHA supports changes to Hawaiian recognition bill

By Associated Press

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is supporting changes made to legislation that would allow Native Hawaiians to form their own government.

The OHA Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the amendments to the bill, which were made to regain the backing of Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

The changes clarify that a future Hawaiian government would be subject to state laws, as well as health and safety negotiations, until negotiations are completed.

OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona says the bill’s modifications will allow the bill to move forward.

The measure could get a vote in the U.S. Senate as soon as this month. Then it would have to return to the U.S. House for a final vote before heading to President Barack Obama for his signature.