Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 2399

S.D. 1




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. 2399 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to restructure the Hawaii Invasive Species Council into a new entity, the Hawaii Invasive Species Authority, to be administratively attached to the Department of Agriculture, that will expand upon the existing council model by adding expertise to the Board of Directors, authorizing the Board to hire staff as necessary, and mandating new duties relating to the coordination of the Interagency Biosecurity Plan.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Department of Land and Natural Resources; Big Island Invasive Species Committee; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Sierra Club of Hawaii; The Nature Conservancy; Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species; Local Food Coalition; Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Ka Ohana O Na Pua; Oahu County Legislative Priorities Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; and twelve individuals.


Your Committee finds that the invasion of Hawaii by insects, disease-bearing organisms, snakes, weeds, and other pests is the single greatest threat to Hawaii's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii's people. In 2003, the Legislature created the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, an interagency board mandated to provide policy-level direction and coordination on invasive species issues, co-chaired by the Chairpersons of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Board of Agriculture. The authorizing legislation for the council did not create staff positions or a revenue source. Your Committee further finds that despite many successes, mitigation of invasive species threats and impacts often remains fragmented between agencies and is insufficiently supported through interagency data collection and management, public pest reporting, interagency response coordination, and statewide public outreach. Establishing the Hawaii Invasive Species Authority as an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture and enhancing the State's invasive species prevention, early detection, rapid response, control, enforcement, and outreach programs will help protect the environment, human health, culture, and the economy.


Your Committee has amended this measure by 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. 2399, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2399, 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,