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Akaka Bill clears Senate committee


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POSTED: Friday, December 18, 2009

WASHINGTON » A U.S. Senate committee has unanimously passed legislation to let native Hawaiians establish their own government. The new government would operate much like those formed by Indian tribes.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved yesterday the bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The Hawaii Democrat has authored similar legislation during previous congressional sessions but has yet to get the measure passed by the full Senate. The bill included new language opposed by Gov. Linda Lingle and Attorney General Mark Bennett, who have been longtime supporters of his effort. Akaka said he would try to address their concerns before bringing the bill to the full Senate for a vote.

Just one day earlier, a House committee also approved what is referred to as the Akaka Bill.