STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3100

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2026

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Government Operations and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2026, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Legislative Reference Bureau to update their 1985 study, "The Feasibility of Environmental Reorganization for Hawaii," and assess the feasibility of implementing findings and recommendations of the 1991 Department of Environmental Protection Task Force.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Environmental Management for the County of Hawaii, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Sierra Club of Hawaii, and nine individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition of this measure from the State Procurement Office. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Legislative Reference Bureau.

 

Your Committees find that proper management of the State's environmental resources is essential for the State's future sustainability. Your Committees further find that state government should operate as efficiently as possible to make the best use of government resources, personnel, and taxpayer dollars as it works to achieve the policy goals enacted by the Legislature on behalf of the people. However, your Committees find that under existing law natural resource and environmental management is inefficiently split among many departments and agencies. In addition, your Committees find that several governmental departments and agencies suffer from internal conflicts of interest and being charged with an overly broad scope and mission.

 

Your Committees further find that the study on, "The Feasibility of Environmental Reorganization for Hawaii", which, in part, discussed the creation of a state Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, your Committees find that the Legislature, through Act 293, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991, temporarily placed a Department of Environmental Protection in the Hawaii Revised Statutes. The subsequent Department of Environmental Protection task force report recommended the establishment of a permanent Department of Environmental Protection. However, no consensus could be reached on a strategy for the overall establishment of the new department at that time. Your Committees find that given the immediate and growing need to appropriately address environmental concerns in the State, the State could benefit from the establishment of a Department of Environmental Protection and other suggestions relating to the reorganization of the State's environmental management. Therefore, your Committees find that the Legislative Reference Bureau should update its 1985 study and assess the feasibility of implementing any findings and recommendations of the aforementioned Department of Environmental Protection task force report.

 

However, your Committees acknowledge the concerns raised by the State Procurement Office relating to the measure's exemption from the state procurement code for contracts made by the Legislative Reference Bureau under this measure. Your Committees find that this measure should not exempt the Legislative Reference Bureau from the procurement code.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Deleting the exemption from chapter 103D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for contracts entered into by the Legislative Reference Bureau pursuant to this measure;

 

(2) Changing the amount appropriated from an unspecified amount to $150,000; and

 

(3) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2018.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Government Operations and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2026, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2026, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Government Operations and Agriculture and Environment,

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair

 

________________________________

DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair