Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, June 8, 2001

GOP criticize special session measures

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

Despite a relatively low-key special session, the Senate Republicans have found issues to criticize, such as a plan to replace a Hilo shopping mall with a courthouse as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs budget.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Fred Hemmings, R-25th (Kailua, Waimanalo), criticized the OHA budget, saying the OHA "needs to tighten its fiscal bootstraps to better serve its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries" and pointing to an audit showing OHA received a 3 percent return on its $353 million investment portfolio.

But OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said OHA is in the process of refining its priorities and collecting input from the community to set the course for more programs and initiatives for Native Hawaiians. She said with that strategic planning will come a reassessment and realigning of the organization.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-8th (Wai'alae Iki, Hawai'i Kai), criticized the state judiciary's plans to build a Hilo courthouse at the Kaiko'o Mall, saying that it would hurt businesses there and that the site was selected without community input.

The judiciary plans to replace Kaiko'o Mall with a 130,000-square-foot facility.

Michael Broderick, courts administrative director, said building the courthouse at the mall site would revitalize the Hilo economy and an environmental impact statement on the plan was done and a public meeting held.

The Senate will have its final votes on the Judiciary and OHA budget bills today, the last day of the special session. The House already approved the measures.