STAND. COM. REP. NO.2925
RE: H.B. No. 2018
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, Energy and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2018, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LEASES,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to allow a qualified tenant whose lease of public land is nearing expiration to petition the Department of Land and Natural Resources to solicit bidders interested in leasing the agricultural land. In addition, the winning bidder for the agricultural land lease is required to compensate the outgoing tenant for the residual value of any improvements. If there are no interested bidders, the department must negotiate a new lease with the existing tenant.
Testimony supporting this measure was received from the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Testimony opposing this measure was received the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Your Committees find that many Hawaii farmers who have been farming for decades on state agricultural land find that their leases are now expiring during a critical time. Hawaii's agricultural industry is in the middle of transitioning to a diversified agricultural industry. Your Committees believe that although this shift should be supported and encouraged, due consideration should be given to Hawaii's farmers who need to adjust their businesses, product development, and lifestyle to the changing market. This measure provides these farmers with a degree of certainty in planning their future agricultural endeavors by creating a process that facilitates the transfer of agricultural land to another farmer and, if that is not possible, requires the negotiation of a lease for a certain time period.
Your Committees have amended this measure to require the Department of Land and Natural Resources, upon petition of the lessee, to issue a "public notice" rather than an "advertisement" for purposes of consistency with section 171-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, deleting a redundant definition, and making technical, nonsubstantive changes for style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, Energy and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2018, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2018, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Water, Land, Energy and Environment,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair
JAN YAGI BUEN, Chair