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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 11:24 AM HST

Ruling affirms OHA spending on all Hawaiians

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A state Supreme Court ruling allows the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to continue spending trust funds on those with any amount of Hawaiian blood.

The high court's ruling Tuesday upholds the dismissal of a lawsuit that argued it's improper for OHA to spend money on people who are less than 50 percent Native Hawaiian.

OHA attorney Robert Klein says the decision settles whether OHA can create or fund programs to serve Hawaiians with any level of blood quantum. OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado calls it a "landmark decision."

The lawsuit by Samuel Kealoha and four others maintained OHA spending diminishes money available for those who are at least 50 percent Hawaiian. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports their lawyer Walter Schoettle declined to comment on the ruling but said he's considering options.

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