TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to THE spayING and neuterING OF dogs and cats.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that domestic animals have provided companionship to people for centuries. They share the homes of over fifty per cent of United States households, including an estimated 225,000 owned dogs and cats in Hawaii, providing many benefits such as love, loyalty, and an improved sense of well-being to their families. Each year, 2,400,000 healthy and adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in animal shelters due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness. The legislature further finds that nearly ninety per cent of pets living in poverty and ninety-eight per cent of community cats and feral and stray cats are unaltered.
Spaying and neutering have been shown to dramatically reduce the number of animals that are euthanized in animal shelters, as well as effectively manage populations of unowned community cats to reduce their numbers and protect Hawaii's vulnerable wildlife. Hawaii lacks well-funded programs to assist with the cost of spaying and neutering pets and unowned community cats. Veterinarians, local animal protection organizations, and private citizens support the need for affordable and accessible spay and neuter services to reduce animal suffering in the State.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Establish the Hawaii spay/neuter council to administer the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program;
(2) Establish the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to provide grants to counties and animal welfare groups to spay and neuter dogs and cats; and
(3) Establish the spay/neuter fee program to impose a fee on pet food to be deposited into a new special fund to support the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
hawaii Spay/Neuter program
§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Council" means the Hawaii spay/neuter council established pursuant to section -2.
"Department" means the department of commerce and consumer affairs.
"Director" means the director of commerce and consumer affairs.
"Distributor" means any person, including a manufacturer or wholesale dealer, who receives, stores, manufactures, bottles, or distributes commercial pet food for sale to retailers doing business in the State.
"Fund" means the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund established pursuant to section -8.
"Pet food" means any commercial feed prepared and distributed for consumption by dogs and cats.
"Retailer" means any person who sells or otherwise dispenses in the State pet food to a consumer.
"Sale" means the transfer of title or possession for valuable consideration regardless of the manner by which the transfer is completed.
§ -2 Hawaii spay/neuter council; established. (a) There is established the Hawaii spay/neuter council, which shall be administratively attached to the department and be an advisory board exempt from section 26-34.
(b) The council shall:
(1) Establish guidelines and protocols for awarding grants through the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program, including establishment of appropriate standards for grant proposals and reporting requirements for award recipients;
(2) Solicit and evaluate competitive grant proposals and make recommendations to the department for the disbursement of grant funds; and
(3) Advise the department on the adoption of regulations regarding implementation of the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program and any other appropriate matter with respect to the implementation of the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program.
(c) The council shall consist of the following members:
(1) One representative from the board of veterinary examiners;
(2) One representative from the department of commerce and consumer affairs;
(3) One Hawaii licensed veterinarian specializing in large-scale spay-neuter of pets;
(4) One representative from each county humane society contracted by a county to provide animal care and control services;
(5) One representative of community cat caregivers;
(6) One representative from the pet food industry;
(7) One representative from the pet retail industry;
(8) One representative from a non-profit animal welfare organization; and
(9) One representative of the public.
Additional members may be added as determined by the council.
(d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation.
(e) The council shall meet quarterly or more frequently as it deems necessary. A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum to do business and to validate any decision or act of the council.
(f) The council shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session. The report shall include a description of the activities financed by the fund in the previous fiscal year, including:
(1) A description of all grant proposals selected for funding and grant programs implemented;
(2) A statement of the number of spay and neuter surgeries performed under each grant proposal selected; and
(3) A description of and accounting for any public education and outreach efforts made for the benefit of Hawaii spay/neuter grant program.
§ -3 Hawaii spay/neuter grant program; established. There is established within the department for administrative purposes only the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to be administered by the council. The council shall solicit and evaluate competitive grant proposals submitted by a county or an animal welfare organization to facilitate and promote the provision of spay and neuter services for dogs and cats. Competitive grant proposals shall:
(1) Target low–income communities and populations to the maximum extent possible and detail how that goal is to be accomplished;
(2) Efficiently and effectively facilitate and promote the provision of spay and neuter services for dogs and cats; and
(3) Include public education and outreach components.
The council shall require a grant recipient to report relevant information on how the grant was used, including data on the number and type of spay or neuter surgeries performed and a description of all public education and outreach implemented. A grant proposal may include catios or sanctuaries for outdoor dog and cat populations; provided that spay and neuter services shall take priority.
§ -4 Registration. Every distributor, and any person intending to become a distributor, shall register as such with the department on forms to be prescribed, prepared, and furnished by the department.
§ -5 Hawaii spay/neuter fee program. (a) Every distributor selling pet food in the State shall pay a fee that is hereby imposed at the following rates:
(1) Beginning January 1, 2019, $50 per pet food brand name or product name sold or offered for sale to a retailer for sale in the State to a consumer;
(2) Beginning January 1, 2020, $75 per pet food brand name or product name sold or offered for sale to a retailer for sale in the State to a consumer; and
(3) Beginning January 1, 2021, $100 per pet food brand name or product name sold or offered for sale to a retailer for sale in the State to a consumer.
(b) Any retailer that sells pet food in the State to a consumer, on which the fee imposed by this section has not been paid by a distributor, shall be liable for the fee imposed in subsection (a) at the time of sale to the consumer.
(c) A distributor may add the amount of fees levied by this section to the price of pet food sold to a retailer, and the retailer may pass the amount of the fee through to a consumer as a component of the final retail purchase price.
§ -6 Exemptions. The following shall be exempt from the fee imposed by this chapter:
(1) Pet food sold by a distributor or a retailer expressly for resale or consumption outside the State; and
(2) Pet food sold by a distributor to another distributor, if the sales invoice clearly indicates that the sale is exempt. If the sale is to a person who is both a distributor and a retailer, the sale shall also be exempt from the fee and the fee shall be paid when the purchasing distributor who is also a retailer resells the product to a retailer or a consumer. This exemption shall not apply to any other sale to a retailer.
§ -7 Payment. Every distributor, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, shall file with the department a form identifying all sales of pet food made during the preceding month. The form shall be prescribed by the department and shall contain such information as it may deem necessary for the proper administration of the Hawaii spay/neuter fee program.
§ -8 Hawaii spay/neuter special fund; established. (a) There is established in the state treasury the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund to be administered by the department, into which shall be deposited Hawaii spay/neuter fees, interest payments, and penalty payments imposed pursuant to this chapter and distributed pursuant to section -15.
(b) All moneys in the fund shall be used for:
(1) All costs to implement this chapter, including:
(A) Administrative, audit, independent evaluation, and compliance activities associated with the Hawaii spay/neuter fee program and collection and payment of the Hawaii spay/neuter fee;
(B) Personnel to implement the Hawaii spay/neuter fee program, including registration and enforcement activities; and
(C) Associated office expenses; and
(2) Coordination and support of the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program.
§ -9 Records to be kept. (a) Every distributor and retailer shall keep a record of all sales of pet food made by the distributor or retailer in such form as the department may prescribe.
(b) The records as required in subsection (a) shall be made available, upon request, for inspection by the department; provided that any proprietary information obtained by the department shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any other person, except:
(1) As may be reasonably required in an administrative or judicial proceeding to enforce any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted to implement this chapter; or
(2) Pursuant to an order issued by a court or administrative agency hearings officer.
§ -10 Audit authority. The director, or the duly authorized agent of the director, may examine all records required to be kept under this chapter and books, papers, and records of any person engaged in the sale of pet food to verify the accuracy of the payment of the fee imposed by this chapter and other compliance with this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter. Every person in possession of such books, papers, and records and the person's agents and employees shall give the director, or the duly authorized agent of the director, the means, facilities, and opportunities for the examination.
§ -11 Contract for administrative services. The department may contract the services of a third party to administer the Hawaii spay/neuter fee program under this chapter.
§ -12 Management and financial audit. The auditor shall conduct a management and financial audit of the Hawaii spay/neuter fee program for the first two fiscal years the program is in effect following the implementation of rules, and for each fiscal year thereafter ending in an even numbered year. The auditor shall submit the audit report to the legislature and the department no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the next regular session. The costs incurred by the auditor for the audit shall be reimbursed by the fund.
§ -13 Administration by director; rules. The administration and enforcement of this chapter are vested in the director, who shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 for the enforcement and administration of this chapter.
§ -14 Civil penalties. Any person subject to this chapter who fails to pay the entire fee imposed by the date that payment is due, fails to register as a distributor, fails to submit a form, fails to maintain records required by this chapter, or violates any other provision of this chapter shall be liable for the amount of the fee that is due and a penalty equal to fifty per cent of the fee due. Interest shall accrue on nonpayment or underpayment of the fee at a rate of eight per cent per year from the date the fee was due until paid.
§ -15 Distribution of revenues. One hundred per cent of revenues collected from the Hawaii spay/neuter fee, interest payments, and penalty payments imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to the fund established in section -8."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 into the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund established by this Act.
SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the Hawaii spay/neuter council to administer the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of commerce and consumer affairs for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2018, except that the fees established by section -5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, shall be imposed upon the adoption of administrative rules pursuant to section -13, Hawaii Revised
Statutes, for the enforcement and administration of chapter , Hawaii Revised Statutes, established by this Act.
Hawaii Spay/Neuter Council; Hawaii Spay/Neuter Special Fund; Hawaii Spay/Neuter Grant Program; Appropriation
Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter council to be administratively attached to the department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Establishes the Hawaii spay/neuter special fund. Imposes a fee on pet food to support the Hawaii spay/neuter grant program to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Makes an appropriation.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.