Lingle signs bill on land sales


POSTED: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gov. Linda Lingle has signed a bill into law making it more difficult for former Hawaiian crown lands to be sold.

The law signed yesterday requires two-thirds of each legislative chamber to approve before any state lands can be sold.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature crafted the bill after the Republican governor asserted the state's control over its lands in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The nation's highest court ruled in March that the federal government's apology for the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom did not strip the state of its land rights.

Under this new law, passed as Senate Bill 1677, the state maintains its authority to manage its lands, but any sales or transfers will not go through without broad support.