STAND. COM. REP. NO. 351

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 839

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 839 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE PUNA DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL PARK,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for a feasibility study for planning and land acquisition for an agricultural park in the Puna district to provide access to agricultural lands for small scale farmers.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Department of Land and Natural Resources; County of Hawaii Office of the Mayor; Hawaii Farmers Union United; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Island School Garden Network; One Island Sustainable Living; Malama O Puna; Na Kanaka O Puna; We Are One, Inc.; Aa Lii Farm; and forty-five individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.

 

Your Committees find that Puna is the fastest growing district in the County of Hawaii, with a population of 45,326, according to the 2010 United States census, and is expected to grow to approximately 75,000 by 2030. Puna is also becoming increasingly popular as a tourist attraction as it is near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is a world renowned destination for ecotourism and personal development opportunities. Your Committees find that an agricultural park in the Puna district would provide economic opportunities and increase local food production in the district in alignment with the State's goal of food sustainability.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 839 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Water and Land,

 

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KARL RHOADS, Chair

 

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MIKE GABBARD, Chair