HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's office says the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has amended and passed a bill granting federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
Akaka said the amendment streamlines the bill.
His office said Thursday significant portions of the bill approved by the committee last spring are no longer required. That's because the state's Native Hawaiian Roll Commission began developing a roll of Native Hawaiian constituents for the purposes of reorganizing a Native Hawaiian government.
The bill - known informally as the Akaka Bill - would give Native Hawaiians the same rights already extended to many Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
Akaka has been trying for to get the bill passed for a dozen years. The senator is retiring when his current term ends in January.