It’s called by some a local version of the Akaka bill, but Dan Akaka and Dan Inouye are not on hand in Honolulu for the signing of SB 1520 into law — the Hawaiian recognition and roll commission bill.
That’s because Harry Reid made senators stay in Washington due to the protracted impasses over the debt ceiling.
Akaka and Inouye nonetheless applauded the new law, with Akaka saying in a statement, “This new law complements our efforts in Congress and demonstrates that the people of Hawaii strongly support the right of Native Hawaiians to reorganize and perpetuate their culture and way of life.”
12:02 p.m. Duckworth Running for Congress
Former Hawaii resident and Veterans Affairs assistant secretary Tammy Duckworth is making official a second run for the U.S. Congress from home state Illinois.
“My father served in Vietnam, my brother served in the Coast Guard, and my husband continues to serve on active duty because our family believes in this great nation,” Duckworth, a Democrat, said in a statement. “There are plenty of folks in Washington who serve political ideology and personal ambition. I want to continue serving our country.”
11:28 a.m. Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
The governor has signed a proclamation making August 2011 “Breastfeeding Awareness Month.”
Human milk optimally enhances growth, development and well-being of an infant by providing the best nutrition and protection against specific infection, obesity and allergies, while enhancing the maternal and infant bond.
8:34 a.m. Protest Planned Over Bill Signing
The Garden Islandreports that a group of Native Hawaiians called Hawaiian Nationals plan a four-hour protest today to protest the the governor’s signing of a bill (see below) they say would “try to revive and jump-start the now defunct Akaka Bill.”
“Hawaiian Nationals and many other Hawaii residents adamantly opposed the Akaka Bill and successfully fought for 10 years to stop its passage in Washington (D.C.),” spokesman Leon Siu said in a press release. “SB 1520 represents a desperate ‘back door’ tactic to accomplish what the Akaka Bill failed to do.”
Landmark Hawaiian Bill to Become Law
The governor is inviting VIPs to Washington Place this afternoon for the signing of Senate Bill 1520, which will formally recognize Native Hawaiians as Hawaii’s only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people.
It also sets up a commission to count Hawaiians for the purpose of establishing a governing entity á la the federal Akaka bill.
“Every generation of Native Hawaiians since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 has struggled with not legally being recognized as equals,” said the bill’s chief sponsor, Malama Solomon, in a statement. “So many have given so much; many have fought in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam — some losing their lives — for a country that doesn’t recognize them.”
• P-307 Project Groundbreaking, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.