Hawaii senators in the Ways and Means Committee have agreed to compromise on a bill to repeal the state Public Land Development Corp.
Both the House and the Senate voted to abolish the agency earlier this session but disagreed on the details.
The Senate committee voted Monday to accept the House's position not to transfer the agency's personnel to a different agency.
Chairman David Ige says the bill is now a "clean repeal" of the PLDC.
But he decided not to adopt the House draft entirely, saying the Senate's wording is clearer.
Sen. Laura Thielen says that if House leaders sign off on the Senate draft, the bill can skip conference committee.
She says that if the bill goes to conference committee, it could be held hostage to political interests.
Mahina Martin, founder of the group PLDC Watch, said this is a critical step to repealing the PLDC.
"The Senate Ways and Means Committee deserves our thanks for advancing a clean repeal measure rather than choosing to accept any amendments that would return us all to the difficult and sometimes ugly debates between the public and legislators," said Martin. "For several months now, thousands of constituents from across the state spoke out against the PLDC and at this point I’m pretty sure no one truly wants to prolong the debate. Repealing the PLDC is the right thing to do for many reasons – including demonstrating a respect for what the people of Hawaii have loudly, clearly and consistently said we do not want."