US Senate could vote this month on bill letting Native Hawaiians form their own government

By Mark Niesse, AP
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Deal struck on Native Hawaiian recognition

HONOLULU — A measure allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come to a vote in the U.S. Senate this month following a deal with Hawaii’s Republican governor.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and Gov. Linda Lingle said Wednesday they’ll support the bill after changes are made to clarify that a Hawaiian government wouldn’t have sovereign authority until after negotiations are completed.

Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous people in the United States that haven’t been allowed to establish their own government.

Lingle will write a letter to the nation’s senators telling them she has changed her position and supports the bill.

The Native Hawaiian recognition bill passed the U.S. House in February. If amended and passed in the Senate, it would need to return to the House for a final vote.

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