STAND. COM. REP. NO.166-02
RE: H.B. No. 2599
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Labor and Public Employment and Energy and Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 2599 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE EMERGENCY ENVIRONMENTAL WORKFORCE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to appropriate funds for the continuation of the Emergency Environmental Workforce Program (EEWP).
Ohana Makamae Inc., the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, the Mayor of Hawaii County, the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii, the Sierra Club, the Project Coordinator for the EEWP, members of the Maui Invasive Species Committee, and several concerned citizens testified in support of this measure. The Department of Land and Natural Resources supported the intent of the measure as long as it did not have an impact on the funding of their department.
Hawaii's ecosystems have long been plagued with many concerns, most recently with that of invading alien species. Unfortunately, due to a myriad of issues, these environmental concerns have long been neglected, creating a backlog in environmental service work. Hawaii also experienced its first outbreak of dengue virus fever in 40 years, a disease that is directly related to environmental concerns.
After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Hawaii experienced a significant increase in the number of individuals filing unemployment claims. In this time of economic crisis, the Legislature established, through Act 4, Third Special Session of Hawaii 2001, the EEWP, an ingenious program using these unemployed workers to address the environmental needs Hawaii faces. All preliminary evidence suggests that the EEWP has been a win-win situation for all parties involved. In this time of economic transition, the EEWP is providing much-needed jobs and making progress in the existing backlog of environmental service work.
Your Committees are pleased to see that the EEWP has been a success and feel that its continuation would be of benefit to the State and Hawaii's unique environment. Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting the appropriation amount of $3,000,000, the
estimated cost for continuing the EEWP for an
additional six months; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, conformity, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Labor and Public Employment and Energy and Environmental Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2599, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2599, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Labor and Public Employment and Energy and Environmental Protection,
HERMINA M. MORITA, Chair
SCOTT SAIKI, Chair