Senate President Donna Mercado Kim’s proposal to abolish the state Land Use Commission seems doomed to fail after four committee chairs didn’t schedule a hearing for the bill in time for an internal Senate deadline Friday.

Sen. Laura Thielen, who chairs the Water and Land Committee, said she doesn’t plan to hold a hearing for the bill.

“I do not support the abolition of the Land Use Commission,” Thielen said in an email.


Senate President Donna Mercado Kim had called for the abolishment of the Land Use Commission.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The measure was also referred to the committees on agriculture, public safety and transportation.

The panels would have to jointly take up the proposal by Friday in order for the measure to advance this session, according to the Senate’s internal deadlines.

The idea could resurface in another bill if lawmakers decide to amend other measures to keep the proposal alive.

But that’s unlikely. While Kim made headlines last month by announcing her desire to abolish the commission that makes key decisions on development statewide, the idea didn’t have much support in the Senate.

Only three of Kim’s 24 colleagues signed on to the measure: Sens. Breene Harimoto, Ronald Kouchi and Glenn Wakai. The bill was also referred to four committees in addition to the Senate money committee, an assignment some saw as a sign that it didn’t have a chance.

Kim told Civil Beat that she didn’t expect the measure to pass. But she said she introduced it because she served on the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee for over a decade and believes that the state’s land use process unnecessarily duplicates the city’s.

That’s a familiar argument for getting rid of the commission, which was established in 1961. Every few years, lawmakers debate whether or not to abolish the agency in response to complaints from developers that the state land use process is costly and long.

About the Author