Senate confirms Aila and Gomes to head DHHL, passes nine bills
News Release from Hawaii State Senate, February 10, 2020
Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The Hawaii State Senate today confirmed William J. Aila to be Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, through Dec. 21, 2022, and Tyler I. Gomes to be Deputy to the Chairperson through December 5, 2022.
SA: Senators J. Kalani English (D, Molokai-Lanai-East Mau), Kurt Fevella (R, Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) and Kai Kahele (D, Hilo) voted “no.” Sen. Mike Gabbard (D, Kapolei-Makakilo) was absent the vote.
The Senate also passed the following bills on third reading, which now go to the House of Representatives for consideration:
SB2086 SD1 - Relating to the Department of Accounting and General Services.
SB585 SD1 - Relating to the school-level minor repairs and maintenance special fund.
SB2920 SD1 - Relating to conformity to the internal revenue code.
HB304 HD2 SD1 - Relating to transportation.
HB1121 HD1 SD2 - Relating to water security.
SB583 SD1 - Relating to education.
SB584 SD1 - Relating to funding for school repair and maintenance.
SB587 SD2 - Relating to the Board of Education.
SB594 SD2 - Relating to education.
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Senate Confirms DHHL Chair, Deputy
News Release from DHHL, Feb 10, 2020
(HONOLULU, OʻAHU) – The Hawaiʻi State Senate voted to confirm Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr. and Deputy to the Chairperson Tyler Iokepa Gomes at a confirmation hearing on Monday, Feb. 10.
In a 21 to 3 vote, Chair Aila was confirmed as the Department head. He was appointed to the role of Interim Chairperson by Governor David Ige on May 17, 2019. His role as Chair expires on Dec. 31, 2022.
Chair Aila served as Deputy to the Chair from 2014-2018. He previously headed the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and was Harbor Agent for the Waiʻanea Boat Harbor, Division of Boating and Recreation under DLNR.
“I thank Governor Ige and the Senate for the opportunity to continue to serve the Hawaiian community,” said Chair Aila. “I also want to recognize and thank the beneficiaries – those who supported my nomination and those who did not. As a longtime activist, I support and encourage more civic engagement, not less. In the end, I believe we are all working to better our community and I am eager to collaboratively continue to move the Trust forward.”
Deputy Gomes was confirmed in a unanimous 24 to 0 vote. He was appointed to the role by Governor Ige on Sept. 30, 2019. His role as Deputy expires on Dec. 5, 2022.
Prior to his role at DHHL, Deputy Gomes served as the partnership manager at Elemental Excelerator, where he oversaw the Elemental Hui – a partnership network of local business, non-profit, educational, and philanthropic institutions. He previously served as Deputy Public Defender in the Office of the Public Defender and co-authored and co-edited legal pleadings in Waters v. Nago, which successfully overturned the 2018 election results in the District IV Honolulu City Council race.
“I’m honored to begin serving the beneficiaries of our ʻĀina Pulapula,” said Deputy Gomes. “Prince Kuhio’s vision of returning native Hawaiians to the land is a solemn kuleana and I look forward to contributing to fulfilling that responsibility.”