Agriculture Needs Commission

Creates an agriculture needs commission to study agricultural
needs of the State, suggest recommendations on diversified
agriculture, and identify important agricultural lands.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that in 1986 the State of
 2 Hawaii land evaluation and site assessment commission submitted
 3 its final report to the legislature.  The report presented the
 4 commission's findings, conclusions, and recommendations
 5 concerning:
 6      (1)  The development of the initial inventory of the State's
 7           important agricultural lands;
 8      (2)  A classification system to identify these lands; and
 9      (3)  A process to review requests for a change in
10           designation of specific parcels from important
11           agricultural lands to urban or to other uses.
12 The report also provided an implementation framework and
13 recommended amendments to existing state law to execute the
14 proposed land evaluation and site assessment system.
15      Since 1986 there have been many bills introduced that
16 attempted to implement the recommendations of the land evaluation
17 and site assessment commission.  For various reasons, none of
18 these bill have succeeded in meeting the needs and objectives of
19 the diverse interests affected by the commission's

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 1 recommendations.  In the thirteen years since the submission of
 2 the land evaluation and site assessment commission's report,
 3 Hawaii's agricultural industry has shifted dramatically from a
 4 plantation agricultural type system with heavy emphasis on
 5 sugarcane production to more emphasis on small-scale and
 6 diversified agriculture.  Equally important, Hawaii's overall
 7 economy has been in decline throughout the 1990s.  Changing times
 8 and circumstances call for new approaches to agricultural issues.
 9 In light of Hawaii's changing agricultural and economic
10 circumstances the legislature finds it is necessary to form a new
11 commission to examine agricultural issues in the State.
12      The purpose of this Act is to create an agriculture needs
13 commission to:
14      (1)  Study and evaluate the overall agricultural needs of
15           the State;
16      (2)  Recommend how to develop and promote diversified
17           agriculture; and
18      (3)  Recommend how to identify important agricultural land
19           necessary for the agricultural needs of the State
20           pursuant to article XI, section 3, of the state
21           constitution.
22 The composition of the commission shall be similar to the
23 original land evaluation and site assessment commission in terms

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 1 of including both public and private interests, and the
 2 commission should reflect the viewpoints of diverse stakeholders.
 3 The commission shall report its recommendations pursuant to
 4 subsection 2(d).
 5      SECTION 2.  State of Hawaii agriculture needs commission.
 6 (a)  Establishment and membership.  There is established within
 7 the office of the legislative reference bureau for administrative
 8 purposes, the State of Hawaii agriculture needs commission
 9 comprised of twenty-seven voting members as follows:  the
10 director of the office of planning, the planning directors of
11 each of the four counties, the chairperson of the board of land
12 and natural resources, or their designated representative, the
13 chairperson of the board of agriculture, and five members who
14 shall be nominated by the president of the senate and appointed
15 by the governor and five members who shall be nominated by the
16 speaker of the house of representatives and appointed by the
17 governor, one member to be selected by the chairperson of the
18 board of agriculture from each of the following:  the Hawaii
19 Agricultural Research Corporation, the sugarcane industry, the
20 pineapple industry, the college of tropical agriculture and human
21 resources of the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Farm Bureau
22 Federation, the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, an
23 organization representing agricultural workers, and three members

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 1 from the general public.  The chairperson of the board of
 2 agriculture shall be chairperson of the commission.  Any vacancy
 3 on the commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the
 4 original position was filled.  The members shall receive no
 5 compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for
 6 actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
 7      (b)  The commission shall:
 8      (1)  Study and evaluate the overall agricultural needs of
 9           the State;
10      (2)  Recommend how to develop and promote diversified
11           agriculture; and
12      (3)  Recommend how to identify important agricultural lands
13           necessary for the agricultural needs of the State
14           pursuant to article XI, section 3, of the state
15           constitution.
16      In its study and evaluation of the overall agricultural
17 needs of the State, the commission shall take into consideration
18 the economic feasibility of the future of the agriculture
19 industry in Hawaii in terms of increased self-sufficiency and
20 increased production for export.  This economic feasibility shall
21 include an analysis of the types of crops likely to produce a
22 profit by achieving appropriate economies of operation and
23 competitive market share and price.  The analysis should further

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 1 include an assessment of technological, organizational,
 2 management, and other innovations that could significantly
 3 influence production efficiency, market share, and the
 4 competitive price of diversified agriculture grown in Hawaii.
 5 Recommended methods of identifying important agricultural lands
 6 should then be based on the requirements necessary for the
 7 economic feasibility of the agriculture industry in Hawaii.
 8      The commission may undertake all necessary studies to fully
 9 and effectively carry out its functions, and may enter into
10 contracts with qualified persons or any government agency on such
11 terms as it may deem appropriate.  The commission shall receive
12 administrative support from the legislative reference bureau and
13 may appoint its own employees without regard to chapters 76 and
14 77, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and consultants using appropriated
15 funds.  All state and county agencies shall render services upon
16 request of the commission through its chairperson to facilitate
17 the purposes of this section.  County agencies may be reimbursed
18 by the commission for the reasonable costs of their services upon
19 their request.
20      (c)  The commission shall invite the participation of the
21 general public, particularly persons having an interest in
22 agriculture in the State.  Public information meetings and
23 hearing shall be held as frequently as deemed necessary and

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 1 feasible; provided that at least one hearing, which shall be
 2 conducted subject to chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall
 3 be held in each county prior to the submission of each report
 4 required under subsection (d).
 5      (d)  Prior to the convening of the 2000 regular session of
 6 the legislature, the commission shall submit to the legislature a
 7 report of its findings and recommendations.  The report shall
 8 include:
 9      (1)  An evaluation of the overall agricultural needs of the
10           State;
11      (2)  Recommendations on how to develop and promote
12           diversified agriculture; and
13      (3)  Recommendations on how to identify important
14           agricultural land necessary for the agricultural needs
15           of the State pursuant to article XI, section 3, of the
16           state constitution.
17      Upon adjournment sine die of the regular session of 2000,
18 the commission shall cease to exist.
19      SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general
20 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1, or so much thereof
21 as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, for the use by the
22 commission to carry out the purpose of this Act.
23      The sum appropriated shall be expended by the legislative

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 1 reference bureau for the purposes of this Act.
 2      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
 4                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________