Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 1204

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 1204 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Establish the agriculture accelerator program to authorize the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) to provide grants and invest in existing or new agriculture businesses approved by the Board of Directors of the ADC in return for equity in those agriculture businesses;


(2) Establish an agriculture accelerator special fund to provide funds for the ADC to provide grants to and invest in agriculture businesses under the agriculture accelerator program; and


(3) Require a portion of the per-barrel environmental response, energy, and food security tax to be deposited into the agriculture accelerator special fund.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Agribusiness Development Corporation; High Technology Development Corporation; EcoTipping Points Project; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; and two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.


Your Committee finds that the ability for the ADC to establish an agriculture accelerator program and issue grants will provide the means to assist local farming operations, make investments to strengthen and diversify Hawaii's agriculture, attract and retain businesses, and streamline the ADC's operations. Your Committee further finds that an agriculture accelerator program may help foster partnerships to facilitate agribusiness projects and help grow Hawaii's agriculture industry.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and


(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1204, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1204, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


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