By B.J. Reyes
After hearing the measure Tuesday, Judiciary Chairman Gil Keith-Agaran said the bill might not pass out of his committee based on all of the testimony in opposition. Community activists who oppose residential development near the Kakaako waterfront urged lawmakers to scrap the proposal, arguing that it complicates passage of the $200 million settlement between the state and OHA.
Said Keith-Agaran (D, Kahului-Paia):
“I believe this bill is really more a vehicle for continued discussion regarding the adequacy of the settlement. … This gives the public a little bit more chance to talk about whether or not they agree that the $200 million in property that are part of the transaction between the (Abercrombie) administration and OHA is adequate.
“I understand that people do not like the content of this bill, but I believe it is a vehicle for discussion. I would ask that we go ahead and move it forward and we’ll see if it makes it off the floor whether or not Finance (Committee) will hear it.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and OHA officials have testified they neither support nor oppose the bill, only that they do not wish it to hang up passage of the overall settlement proposal.