Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 160

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 160 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish and appropriate funds derived from the state environmental response, energy, and food security tax (barrel tax) for the Korean natural farming pilot program.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Hawaii Farmers Union United; Hawaii Center for Food Safety; We Are One, Inc.; Miss Rodeo Hawaii Program; and twelve individuals.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation.


     Your Committee finds that agricultural pests in Hawaii, such as the little fire ant, coffee berry borer, papaya ringspot virus, macadamia felted coccid, macadamia fungus, banana bungee, coqui frogs, and fire weed, threaten the economic viability of Hawaii's commercial agricultural industries.  The use of pesticides to combat these pests may endanger the health of Hawaii's people and environment, whereas Korean natural farming does not pose the same health risks.  Korean natural farming techniques, which involve collecting and culturing indigenous microorganisms and reintroducing them into an agroecosystem, may be an effective method to combat these pests without the use of pesticides.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Removing sections 2 and 3, relating to the barrel tax;


     (2)  Inserting an appropriation amount of $100,000; and


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


     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. 160, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 160, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,