STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2722
RE: S.B. No. 2803
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 2803, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE AGRICULTURAL LOAN REVOLVING FUND,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate moneys for the agricultural loan program to increase the State's food sustainability.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, and Land Use Research Foundation.
Your Committee finds that the State is heavily dependent on imported food, and that such dependence is unsustainable. To address this unsustainability, the State has committed to doubling local food production by 2030 as part of the Aloha+ Challenge. Opening new farms and expanding existing farm operations is necessary to increase local food production. However, many farmers cannot take these actions as the associated costs are too high.
The agricultural loan program was established to assist farmers in starting new or expanding existing farm operations. However, the program lacks sufficient capital to fully implement its goals and objectives. Your Committee finds that additional funding is necessary to support the agricultural loan program and help the State progress toward its food production goals.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the $4,000,000 appropriation to an unspecified amount; and
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.
Should a standing committee in the House of Representatives decided to hear this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that the committee examine the extent to which the moneys appropriated for fiscal year 2015-2016 have been used for loan disbursement.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2803, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2803, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair