Report Title:

Soil and Water Conservation

 

Description:

Authorizes each of the soil and water conservation districts to keep revenues generated within their respective districts to carry out functions of the district.

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

241

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that a viable agriculture industry in Hawaii requires the support and commitment of state government. The legislature continues to support the work of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.

The Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts is an association of sixteen local soil and water conservation districts in Hawaii: Kauai (2); Oahu (3); Molokai/Lanai (1); Maui (4); and the Big Island (6). The Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts pools district experience and knowledge to develop policies, provide technical and educational resources to agricultural land users, and encourage use of best management practices to mitigate soil erosion and water pollution.

While the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts has been tasked to develop many soil and water conservation plans, they do not have the staffing or resources necessary to implement these tasks in a timely fashion. The directors of the respective boards are volunteers and many directors donate their personal money to help cover expenses. Each of the districts receives minimal funding annually ($2360) to cover expenses for administering the duties of the volunteer directors. These funds cover business expenses, travel, and other costs. Any unused money not expended by each district is required to be returned to the state general fund at the end of each fiscal year.

The legislature finds that to assist local soil and water conservation districts carry out their designated duties, they should be able to maintain and carry-over any unexpended funds for operational purposes to complete their duties.

The purpose of this Act is to amend the law to allow local soil and conservation districts to keep their excess funds in a special revolving fund to pay for operating expenses and special projects.

SECTION 2. Section 180-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"180-16 Budget. The department of land and natural resources shall submit to the director of finance, annually the budgetary estimates and information required by chapter 37, and shall include therein estimates of the financial requirements of the department. All contributions, moneys, and funds received by any district shall be [deposited to the credit of the state general fund.] used to carry out the duties of the districts as identified in section 180-3."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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