Hawaii State Constitution at Injury Attorney Hawaii

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Hawaii State Constitution



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As Amended and in Force January 1, 2000




Section 1. For the benefit of present and future generations, the State and its political subdivisions shall conserve and protect Hawaii's natural beauty and all natural resources, including land, water, air, minerals and energy sources, and shall promote the development and utilization of these resources in a manner consistent with their conservation and in furtherance of the self-sufficiency of the State. All public natural resources are held in trust by the State for the benefit of the people. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 2. The legislature shall vest in one or more executive boards or commissions powers for the management of natural resources owned or controlled by the State, and such powers of disposition thereof as may be provided by law; but land set aside for public use, other than for a reserve for conservation purposes, need not be placed under the jurisdiction of such a board or commission

The mandatory provisions of this section shall not apply to the natural resources owned by or under the control of a political subdivision or a department or agency thereof. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 3. The State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands. The legislature shall provide standards and criteria to accomplish the foregoing

Lands identified by the State as important agricultural lands needed to fulfill the purposes above shall not be reclassified by the State or rezoned by its political subdivisions without meeting the standards and criteria established by the legislature and approved by a two-thirds vote of the body responsible for the reclassification or rezoning action. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 4. The State shall have the power to acquire interests in real property to control future growth, development and land use within the State. The exercise of such power is deemed to be for a public use and purpose. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 5. The legislative power over the lands owned by or under the control of the State and its political subdivisions shall be exercised only by general laws, except in respect to transfers to or for the use of the State, or a political subdivision, or any department or agency thereof. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 6. The State shall have the power to manage and control the marine, seabed and other resources located within the boundaries of the State, including the archipelagic waters of the State, and reserves to itself all such rights outside state boundaries not specifically limited by federal or international law

All fisheries in the sea waters of the State not included in any fish pond, artificial enclosure or state-licensed mariculture operation shall be free to the public, subject to vested rights and the right of the State to regulate the same; provided that mariculture operations shall be established under guidelines enacted by the legislature, which shall protect the public's use and enjoyment of the reefs. The State may condemn such vested rights for public use. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 7. The State has an obligation to protect, control and regulate the use of Hawaii's water resources for the benefit of its people

The legislature shall provide for a water resources agency which, as provided by law, shall set overall water conservation, quality and use policies; define beneficial and reasonable uses; protect ground and surface water resources, watersheds and natural stream environments; establish criteria for water use priorities while assuring appurtenant rights and existing correlative and riparian uses and establish procedures for regulating all uses of Hawaii's water resources. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 8. No nuclear fission power plant shall be constructed or radioactive material disposed of in the State without the prior approval by a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 9. Each person has the right to a clean and healthful environment, as defined by laws relating to environmental quality, including control of pollution and conservation, protection and enhancement of natural resources. Any person may enforce this right against any party, public or private, through appropriate legal proceedings, subject to reasonable limitations and regulation as provided by law. [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Section 10. The public lands shall be used for the development of farm and home ownership on as widespread a basis as possible, in accordance with procedures and limitations prescribed by law.


Section [11]. The State of Hawaii asserts and reserves its rights and interest in its exclusive economic zone for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, both living and nonliving, of the seabed and subsoil, and superadjacent waters. [Add SB 2021 (1988) and election Nov 8, 1988]


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An important victory in the fight for individual rights (as opposed to insurer rights) is the case of Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara. In that case on May 26, 2017, the Hawaii Supreme Court rejected the efforts of a health insurer who tried to convert its insurance coverage into a 'loan agreement' and recover its medical expense payments from Mr. Yukumoto when he had a 3rd party claim - in spite of the fact that he was not being fully compensated for his losses. This insidious insurance practice has been damaging the citizens and members of the Hawaii community for many years. For more info, see the decision here: Yukumoto and HMSA v. Tawahara, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. SCAP-15-0000460 (May 26, 2017).

The information provided in these pages is intended to be preliminary and informational ONLY. It is not legal advice by Injury Lawyer Hawaii nor may it be relied upon as such. The use of the Injury Attorney Hawaii webpages does not establish an attorney-client relationship. This page is Copyright Injury Attorney Hawaii 1999-2017 by Injury Attorney Hawaii All rights reserved. Its contents are the property of William H. Lawson-

Constitution of the State of Hawaii

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