HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers are urging the state to buy land in West Maui to preserve its natural beauty and help retirees.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday (http://bit.ly/12ch8lE) that the Hawaii Legislature has passed a bill requiring the state to work on purchasing the shorefront property.
Lawmakers set aside $20 million in bond financing to fund the sale.
Legislators say preserving the land called Lipoa Point would benefit Hawaii's tourism industry and marine resources.
Critics say the move is a bailout for the current land owner, Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
The company has been struggling financially. It has pledged the parcel as collateral for employee pensions.
Lawmakers say buying the property would ensure retirees aren't left out in the cold.
Maui County values the land at just $2.6 million.