STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1105

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 1279

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Higher Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1279, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL FOOD PRODUCTION,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to appropriate funds for the Community Food Systems Center at the University of Hawaii West Oahu to expand upon its existing education for sustainable agricultural food production by:

 

(1) Establishing scholarships for students in the Community Food Systems concentration;

 

(2) Creating positions for a full-time garden manager and part-time student assistants for the student organic garden at the University of Hawaii West Oahu;

 

(3) Creating a Hawaiian Center for Sustainable Community Food Systems; provided that the University of Hawaii West Oahu first conducts and submits to the Legislature a study to determine the feasibility and benefits of creating the center; and

 

(4) Implementing research projects, hosting conferences, and employing additional staff and faculty as the director of the program deems necessary.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System, Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, Kamehameha Schools, MAO Organic Farms, and two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning and Hawaii Farm Bureau.

 

Your Committees find that around eighty-five percent of Hawaii's food is imported, making the State vulnerable to events that disrupt shipping and other modes of transporting food. Your Committees further find that, in addition to food security, growing food within the State is important for the local economy and economic development.

 

Your Committees additionally find that systematically advancing the goals of food security, resiliency, and equity in Hawaii require promoting an understanding of sustainable food production and training a new generation of students for jobs in the sustainable food and agriculture sector. Your Committees recognize that the Community Food Systems Center at the University of Hawaii West Oahu provides a rich experiential, applied, and multi-disciplinary undergraduate education that develops student comprehension of interrelated ecological and social issues in agriculture. Your Committees find that the efforts supported by this measure are an essential part of meeting the State's Increased Food Security and Food Self-Sufficiency Strategy established in 2012.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2017; and

 

(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

Your Committees recommend that if your Committee on Ways and Means chooses to pass this measure, that it consider inserting an appropriation amount of $1,300,000 for the Community Food Systems Center at the University of Hawaii West Oahu to expand upon its existing education for sustainable agricultural food production.

 

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. 1279, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1279, 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