UPDATE: SB 875 & HB 15 are speeding on. ( HB 538 is quite similar.)
Keep in mind the counties already have “Judicial Foreclosure” and “Eminent Domain” powers in place. But the justification is that these processes take too long.
In other words, these bills will allow the counties to be the Police, Prosecutor, Jury, Judge, and Executioner. The Judicial Due Process will be cut off.
We’re asked who started these non-judicial foreclosure bills to forced sale of a private property, based on the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) fines, without going to court.
Here are some quick answers:
It originated in 2022 as HB 1434 with Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Keep it mind that this Power of Sale requests applied to ALL Counties in Hawaii. Based on my observations of him, it’s unlikely that this non-judicial Power of Sale idea originated from Blangiardi unless he’s hoping for a new stream of revenues from fines and sale of properties.
If I have to take a guess, it would be his Managing Director Mike Formby, formerly with the Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP) or former Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) Director Dean Uchida.
Five (5) City Council members, known as the Gang of 5, also submitted testimony – Chair Tommy Waters, Esther Kia’iana, Brandon Elefante, Calvin Say, and Radiant Cordera.
What were the underlying motives?
Fortunately, Bill 1434 failed to pass last year.
This year 2023, Mayor Blangiardi is back with HB 106 and SB 216 by request to Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki.
However, presto! The tactics have changed a bit this year. There are five (5) clone bills with the same agenda speeding through.
Google Searches show no county mayors, state legislators or city council members appear to have warned Hawaii about this draconian assault on private properties.
Here are the rest of the three (3) bills.
SB875 is introduced by Senators Stanley Chang, Donovan Dela Cruz and Sharon Moriwaki. This bill is alive and has crossed over on March 7, 2023.
This time around, written testimonies come from only Honolulu City Council former Budget Chair Calvin Say and DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna.
Companion Bill HB498 is introduced by Representative Jackson Sayama.
HB 15 is introduced by Representative David Tarnas (D) It has no senate companion bill but it has crossed over on March 7, 2023.
HB538 is another similar one that includes judicial or non-judicial foreclosure. It is introduced by MATAYOSHI, BELATTI, HASHIMOTO, HOLT, KILA, KITAGAWA, LAMOSAO, MARTEN, NISHIMOTO, TAKENOUCHI, TARNAS, Chun.
The time line provided in this bill is too unrealistic. It assumes that DPP is 100% efficient. In actual fact, it takes a very long time to get a permit. Some permits take a much longer time because it may need a shoreline certified shoreline. This could easily take six months to complete.