HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Senate Higher Education Committee announced that the Mauna Kea Management Authority bill with amendments passed with five votes on Wednesday, March 23.

According the Senate, the Mauna a Wākea stewardship authority will be the sole authority that manages lands on Mauna a Wakea, while also directing the authority to develop a single plan that dictates the management of land uses should this bill be signed into law.

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Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she is not convinced that creating an authority from scratch to manage this multi-faceted entity will be able to achieve the goals envisioned by the House working group without financially overburdening the taxpayers as well as addressing the needs of the University of Hawaii’s astronomy program.

“However, I do believe that, as a State, we need to move towards real systematic change in a manner that does not further divide our communities,” Kim said. “This proposed Senate draft is by no means a perfect bill, but it does address concerns raised by various state agencies and the community.”

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The bill will now head to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for further consideration.