On Thursday, the last day of business for the Hawaii Legislature until they resume work again sometime in June, the state Senate approved dozens of nominations by Gov. David Ige to boards and commissions.

They were among several hundred that were on hold when lawmakers suddenly recessed in mid-March because of the coronavirus.

Here are several of the most notable appointments, based on the influence of the board or commission:

Reconfirmed to the Board of Land and Natural Resources were Wesley Yoon (until June 2022) and Vernon Char (until June 2021).

Yoon is currently vice president of operations at Bishop Museum and previously worked at the State Historic Preservation Division and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Char is an attorney who previously served on the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the State Ethics Commission and the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S Civil Rights Commission.

Wide view of the Senate floor. Legislature Crossover 2020
The state Senate earlier this year. On Thursday is approved dozens of gubernatorial appointees. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The BLNR acts on land leases, permit applications, development plans and Conservation District Use Applications.

Confirmed to the Land Use Commission were Dan Giovanni (until June 2021), Dawn Chang (until June 2023), Jonathan Scheuer (until June 2024) and Lee Ohigashi (until June 2024).

Giovanni is a former executive with Hawaiian Electric, Chang is an attorney with experience in Native Hawaiian rights, Scheuer is a lecturer at the UH law school and the UH Urban and Regional Planning Department who has advocates for the legal rights and interests of Native Hawaiians, and Ohigashi is an attorney and a former Deputy Corporation Counsel for the County of Maui.

The LUC focuses on land use management and regulation in which all lands in the state are classified into one of four land use districts.

Confirmed to the Commission on Water Resource Management were Michael Buck (until June 2023) and Neil Hannahs (until June 2024). Buck has an extensive background with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources while Hannahs worked for over 40 years for Kamehameha Schools.

The commission administers the State Water Code. Its mission is mission is to “protect and manage the waters … for present and future generations.”

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