Lawmakers drastically lower the blood quantum requirements to pass on Hawaiian Homestead leases.
Before House Bill 451, which lowered the amount of Hawaiian blood, that was not possible.
No longer are lessees required to be at least one-fourth Native Hawaiian. Now those who are one thirty-second can qualify.
Some have argued the leases should instead go to the thousands of qualified Native Hawaiians who have been waiting years for homestead land, but Gilbert and others say the change will not only keep families together but also close-knit communities.
The hardships of displacing families was one of the reasons lawmakers introduced this bill. Which is also designed to encourage current lessees to maintain and invest in their homes — so they’ll be around for future generations.
Unlike other measures passed this session, the bill will not only need the Governor’s signature but also the approval of the US Congress. If it gets both, the change in blood quantum law will take effect on July 1st.