STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3005
RE: H.B. No. 474
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 474, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RAT LUNGWORM DISEASE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for testing, studies, outreach, and other activities related to the prevention and eradication of rat lungworm disease.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawai‘i System, Department of Agriculture, County of Hawai‘i Office of the Mayor, two members of the Hawai‘i County Council, Hilo Medical Center, Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board, and numerous individuals.
Your Committees find that the Department of Health has reported over seventy cases of rat lungworm disease caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis from 2001 to 2014. There were many more cases in 2017, including at least eleven on Hawai‘i Island, six on Maui, and one on Oahu. The disease has claimed lives and caused crippling chronic disability. The cost of treatment for one severe case can exceed $1,000,000.
Your Committees further find that although rat lungworm disease is recognized as a serious threat to human health and agriculture in Hawai‘i, sufficient funding has not been available to support the broad level of education, research, and control activities needed to mitigate this threat.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $450,000 to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for testing, studies, outreach, and other activities related to the prevention and eradication of rat lungworm disease;
(2) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2018; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 474, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 474, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
KAIALI'I KAHELE, Chair