STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3204
RE: H.B. No. 2250
Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui
President of the Senate
Twenty-Sixth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2012
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Energy and Environment and Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2250, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE EMERGENCY ENVIRONMENTAL WORKFORCE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for the establishment of an emergency environmental workforce for short-term employment for individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to assist in the State's effort to:
(1) Maintain and strengthen watersheds;
(2) Eradicate invasive plants; and
(3) Reduce coqui frog, coffee borer beetle, and fire ant populations.
Prior to the hearing, your Committees posted a proposed S.D. 1 of this measure for public review. The proposed S.D. 1 deletes the contents of the measure and replaces them with language that establishes and appropriates funds for a special operations team authorized to recruit and employ temporary emergency environmental workforce employees to respond to environmental emergencies.
Your Committees received testimony in support of the proposed S.D. 1 from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Trust for Public Land, Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, and Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species. Testimony in opposition to the proposed S.D. 1 was submitted by one individual. Your Committees received comments on the proposed S.D. 1 from the Maui Invasive Species Committee, The Nature Conservancy, and Hawaii Green Growth Initiative.
Your Committees find that Hawaii's unique environment and natural resources continue to face ongoing threats. In many cases, these threats constitute imminent peril to natural resources and watersheds and thus require rapid responses. The impacts of invasive species can be mitigated and costs for control and eradication can be reduced with prompt and immediate responses. This measure will expedite the response process by designating a special operations team to oversee the emergency environmental workforce.
Your Committees have amended this measure by adopting the proposed S.D. 1 and further amending the measure by:
(1) Establishing the special operations team as a replacement agency for the emergency environmental workforce established by Act 4, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, Third Special Session (Act 4);
(2) Assigning the existing duties of the emergency environmental workforce to the special operations team and additionally including, as a duty of the team, the recruitment of temporary qualified emergency environmental workforce employees to perform response services;
(3) Specifying that all temporary emergency environmental workforce employees employed pursuant to this measure shall be subject to the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii's (RCUH) employment policies and procedures, except for unemployment insurance benefits, for which the State shall be responsible;
(4) Incorporating the conducting of interviews by RCUH, together with the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to select emergency environmental workforce employees into the existing responses to an environmental emergency required by Act 4;
(5) Deleting references to contract employees and the September 11 tragedy; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Energy and Environment and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2250, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2250, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water, Land, and Housing and Energy and Environment and Ways and Means,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair