STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2053
RE: S.B. No. 3033
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 3033 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL THEFT,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to clarify and strengthen the existing agricultural theft law to allow for the protection of agricultural products raised or produced by all people in the State.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Hawaii, Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Ulupono Initiative, Fruit Lovers Nursery, Hawaii Farmers Union United, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that agricultural theft and vandalism are impediments to running a successful and profitable farming operation and are harmful to consumers and residents. Agricultural theft and vandalism are a serious, ongoing problem, with farmers and residents reporting theft of crops, animals, equipment, and tools, and vandalized fences and gates. Your Committee further finds that, as determined recently in a court case, the crime of agricultural theft only includes theft of products maintained by a commercial agricultural enterprise or research agency while owned by the enterprise or agency, which leaves residents who grow agricultural products for their own consumption or to be given as gifts without full legal recourse options if they are the victims of theft. The measure corrects the existing loophole to ensure thieves are prosecuted.
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. 3033 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair