Hawaii gov urges Senate to recognize Hawaiians

Hololulu, Hawaii (AP) July 2010

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle says in a letter to all U.S. senators that they should pass a law granting Native Hawaiians the federal recognition afforded to other indigenous groups.

The Republican governor's letter sent during mid July urges the Senate to vote and approve the Native Hawaiian legislation, which would put Hawaii on "equal footing'' with other states that allow Native American tribes and Alaska Natives to establish their own government.

Lingle lent her support to the bill after Hawaii's senators agreed to amend it to clarify that a Native Hawaiian government wouldn't provide immunity from the state's laws that protect health and safety.

The Senate could vote on the amended legislation as soon as this month.




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