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State Senate committee backs ‘clean repeal’ of PLDC

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The state Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday approved a bill to repeal the law that created the Public Land Development Corp.

Sen. David Ige, the committee’s chairman, said the bill will be amended to strip out a provision that would have transferred three PLDC staffers to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The provision caused contention at an earlier Senate hearing on the bill after PLDC opponents said it might force the bill to go to House-Senate conference committee, delaying a repeal.

Ige said the amended bill is a "clean repeal," but does have differences with the House version over how money in special funds will be handed. The House, however, could accept the Senate changes and avoid conference committee.

Asked whether the PLDC repeal bill would go to conference, Ige said: "I hope not."

The PLDC was created to develop state lands in public-private partnerships, but the agency has stoked heated opposition from environmentalists and other advocates who objected to the PLDC’s broad exemptions from land use and county zoning laws and construction standards.

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