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NEWS RELEASE: Governor Ige signs OHA and drivers licensing bills

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

June 30, 2015

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige signed four bills into law Tuesday, during bill signing ceremonies at the State Capitol. The bills include:

  • HB 207 (Act 169) Relating to Training: Requires certain state councils, boards and commissions to attend a legal training course administered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on native Hawaiian customs and rights. The law ensures that state decision makers have the information necessary to carry out their constitutional responsibilities and ensure that places, practices and values are sustained for the benefit of all Hawai‘i’s people. OHA will fund the development and administration of the training courses. Effective July 1, 2015.
  • HB 209 (Act 170) Relating to the Budget of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs: Provides OHA with nearly $3 million in general funds from the state in each of the next two fiscal years, matched by more than $6.4 million a year in OHA funds. More than 70 percent of the general funds will be used to support direct services for individuals, families and community groups. Effective July 1, 2015.
  • SB 1166 (Act 171) Relating to the Penal Code: Helps to perpetuate the sacred Native Hawaiian traditions of preparing deceased beloved family members for burial. This law clarifies ambiguities in state law and allows these traditions to continue without the threat of criminal prosecution. Effective upon approval.

“This measure just makes it crystal clear that our laws will allow for anyone wanting to exercise the traditional burial practices of Native Hawaiians, that they would be allowed to do so,” said Gov. Ige.

“Hawai‘i is a special place and these new laws will help educate government officials on cultural protections guaranteed by the State Constitution and protect Hawaiian cultural practices. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs thanks Gov. Ige and the State Legislature for their support of Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights,” said Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana (CEO), OHA.

The governor also signed into law:

  • HB 1007 (Act 172) Relating to Motor Vehicle Driver Licensing: Authorizes the issuance of limited purpose driver’s licenses, provisional licenses and instruction permits for individuals who are eligible for a license or permit, but who do not present proof of legal presence in the United States. This law enables people to obtain drivers licenses or permits and qualifies drivers to obtain proper auto insurance. Increased auto insurance coverage lowers insurance rates. This law applies to drivers such as transitioning homeless people, immigrants, victims of disaster and domestic violence. Effective January 1, 2016.


Media Contacts:
Jodi Leong
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office: 808-586-0043
Mobile: 808-798-3929
[email protected]

Cindy McMillan
Communications Director
Office: 808-586-0012
Mobile: 808-265-7974
[email protected]