Gov. Neil Abercrombie came down on Monday to testify in favor of his 21st century schools proposal before the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing Committee.
The bill, which would authorize the state Department of Education to identify public school land for redevelopment by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, is one of several variations of the controversial Public Land Development Corp.
The governor had first defended, then placed some distance between his administration and the PLDC. The hearing put him face-to-face with Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, the chairman of the Senate Economic Development, Government Operations and Housing Committee and one of the few legislators who have publicly supported the PLDC.
Dela Cruz joked that Abercrombie’s name is as unpopular as his in some of the environmental, Native Hawaiian and labor circles that have opposed the PLDC.
“I wouldn’t care to fight you for the designation,” Abercrombie told the senator in jest.