Senate debate on Hawaii native sovereignty bill delayed

Senate debate on Hawaii native sovereignty bill delayed

[JURIST] The Senate Tuesday delayed a floor debate on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 [text, PDF] which proposes giving native Hawaiians self-governance privileges [JURIST report]. The Akaka bill [background website] is sponsored by US Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka [official websites], both from Hawaii, who said the Republican majority had committed to sending the bill for a vote by August. But Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) [official website] has now halted the debate by indicating that he will propose five amendments to the bill which Inouye says will make the bill "meaningless" and "is almost like saying you will have a Hawaiian entity with absolutely nothing." In a letter to Congress last week the US Justice Department raised a number of concerns about the legislation [AP report] saying gambling should be prohibited by the proposed native Hawaiian government and the US military should still be given access to native Hawaiian land. Senator Inouye said he hopes Democrats can persuade Republicans to allow the bill to move forward this week. From Honolulu, the Star-Bulletin has more.