Friends, last week, with not much more than 48 hours of notice, you circulated the message, or submitted your written testimony, or showed up in person to oppose Senate Bill 2728 — an amendment to the Highways Act of 1892 that is clearly aimed at taking away the people’s ability to have a say with respect to historic Hawaiian trails, as well as to defeat PATH’s Haleakala Trail case. Your voice, your passion, and your willingness to take a stand, caused the Transportation and International Affairs Committee to defer action.
- Read the 2/6/2014 Maui News story here.
- Read the 2/6/2014 Civil Beat story here.
- Written testimony may be reviewed here (early submittals) and here (late submittals).
Over 110 people sent in opposition testimony. In comparison, supporting testimony was about five. Supporters included Monsanto, Kaonoulu Ranch, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Land Use Research Foundation. However, of those supporters, several (including DOT and LURF) thought the proposed amendment language was ambiguous.
Organizations submitting written testimony in opposition to the bill included: the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kauai Councilmember, Tim Bynum, Public Access Trails Hawaii, KAHEA, The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, the Ho’okipa Network (Kauai), Ala Kahakai Trail Association (Hawaii), Aha Moku, Kona Hawaiian Civic Club, Sierra Club of Hawaii, and Ahualoa Community Association.
We can’t rest yet. While the TIA Committee deferred action, SB 2728 is back up for another vote before the TIA on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 1:17 PM (read the agenda here). It appeared that the Committee would revise the proposed amendment language. However, as of this date, we have not seen a revised bill.
Although no further testimony will be accepted, you can still help:
- You can call or email any of the introducers of the Senate Bill 2728, including those serving your district.
- You can call or email any of the members of the Transportation Committee.
Thanks for your help. We will keep you informed as new information is available.