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2 US civil rights commissioners back Akaka bill

Honolulu, Hawaii  (AP) 9-09

Two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights are announcing support for legislation in Congress that would create a process for establishing an independent government for Native Hawaiians.

During late August, a majority of six commissioners signed a letter reiterating their opposition to the so-called Akaka bill, named for it’s chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

The commission chairman and three other Republican members signed the letter along with two independents. The panel voted in 2006 to oppose a previous version of the measure.

But during early September, Democrats Arlan Melendez and Michael Yaki wrote their own letter. The commissioners called the bill a “momentous step” toward reconciliation between the federal government and Native Hawaiians.

 

 

 

 

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