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Hawaii Legislature approves major land deal


HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers have approved a historic land-preservation deal on the final day of the 2014 legislative session.

House members voted to approve $40 million in bonds to pay for the deal brokered in part by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The proposal, already approved by the Senate, would preserve about 660 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort.

Lawmakers had been concerned because the deal was announced late in the session, so the bill did not get a public hearing.

Rep. Richard Lee Fale says there needs to be better communication between the Legislature and the governor.

But others say the deal is an opportunity that must be seized.

Lawmakers wearing fragrant leis shook hands in congratulations for the bills that passed, including a proposal to make kindergarten mandatory.