STAND. COM. REP. NO.  95-16


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2016


RE:   H.B. No. 1996

      H.D. 1





Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 1996 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to establish and fund a two-year Agricultural Theft and Vandalism Pilot Project to focus on investigating and prosecuting agricultural theft and vandalism in the County of Hawaii, including by requiring the Department of Agriculture to partner with Hawaii County to hire an enforcement officer within the County's Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.


     The Department of Agriculture; Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Hawaii County; Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of Maui County; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; W.H. Shipman Limited; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Ponoholo Ranch Limited; and a concerned individual supported this measure.


     Your Committee notes that H.B. No. 2674 which was considered at the same public hearing as this measure, also provides for a similar approach to addressing agricultural theft and vandalism in Hawaii County.  However, at this point in the legislative process, your Committee believes that this measure, as amended by your Committee, is the more suitable vehicle to resolve the problems plaguing these farmers and ranchers.


     Your Committee further finds that other law enforcement agencies, such as the Investigations Division of the Office of the Attorney General, may be appropriate partners in this pilot project.  Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by clarifying that the enforcement officer to be hired for the pilot project may include an enforcement officer from any law enforcement agency, rather than restricting the agency to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Hawaii County.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1996, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1996, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,