STAND. COM. REP. NO. 484

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 808

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 808 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE HAWAII ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the operational expenses and staffing costs of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Cattleman's Council; Local Food Coalition; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Hawaii Coffee Association; Kau Soil and Water Conservation District; East Kauai Soil and Water Conservation District; East and West Kauai Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Kauai County Farm Bureau; Waiakea Soil and Water Conservation District; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; and nine individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts, through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), assists government agencies in identifying and implementing culturally sensitive projects and practices to ensure the protection of Hawaii's environment. The SWCDs bring significant financial resources to Hawaii to improve farm practices, reduce erosion, improve water quality, fight invasive species, improve public safety, protect property, conserve water, and strengthen the economy. SWCDs also provide education and community support for conservation awareness, and assist each county in reviewing county grading permits and conservation plans. The SWCD Program does not have a base budget appropriation, and funding is required in order for the SWCDs to continue their activities, which undoubtedly benefit the people of Hawaii.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 808 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,

 

 

 

________________________________

KARL RHOADS, Chair