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Hawaii governor sets up $150M fund for Maui wildfire victims

November 9, 2023

Maui wildfire relief: $150 million fund announced

In an effort to provide aid to victims of the Maui wildfires, Hawaii Governor Josh Green has announced the establishment of a $150 million compensation fund.

The fund, which is based on the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, is designed to support those affected by the tragic wildfires that swept through Lahaina.

Payments and legalities: How the Maui wildfire fund operates

The governor’s office detailed that beneficiaries, including families of the deceased and injured individuals, could expect to receive payments exceeding $1 million between April and June of the following year.

Acceptance of these funds comes with a condition: recipients must agree not to pursue any legal claims related to the wildfires.

Governor Green emphasized that the fund’s creation is meant to ensure “swift and generous financial payments” while avoiding the lengthy process of litigation.

Rebuilding Lahaina with care and tradition

One of the primary objectives of the new fund is to assist in rebuilding efforts for the affected areas.

The initiative seeks to reflect “Hawaii’s values and traditions” in the reconstruction of Lahaina. Initial funding contributions come from various local sources, including the state government, Maui County, Hawaiian Electric, and Kamehameha Schools.

These organizations have faced lawsuits in connection with the devastating fires.

FSJA Comment

The formation of a $150 million fund by Hawaii’s governor for wildfire victims on Maui marks a significant development in disaster relief and management.

The approach, mirroring the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, represents a blend of compassion and practicality, aiming to alleviate the immediate financial burden on victims and expedite the rebuilding process.

It demonstrates how states can manage catastrophe funds, making a direct impact on the speed and manner in which communities recover from such tragic events.

The collaborative funding efforts by the state, local government, and private entities also highlight a collective responsibility and response to natural disasters.

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