STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1254
RE: H.B. No. 1503
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1503, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a two-year agricultural theft and vandalism pilot project to examine the effectiveness of prosecuting agricultural theft and vandalism cases in the County of Hawaii, including theft and vandalism affecting individuals who are not full-time farmers or ranchers.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, County of Hawai‘i Office of the Mayor, County of Hawai‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, one member of Hawai‘i County Council, Ulupono Initiative, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Maui County Farm Bureau, Hawaii Coffee Association, and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that agricultural vandalism and theft have resulted in economic hardships for farmers and their families. Your Committee also finds that the Department of Agriculture entered into a two-year contract with the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for one investigator to conduct agricultural theft and agricultural vandalism investigations. This project has been valuable and productive and has included outreach to farmers and law enforcement officers. Your Committee further finds that due to the large land area of Hawaii County, funding for at least two positions is needed to conduct an agricultural theft and vandalism pilot project.
Your Committee has therefore amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an appropriation amount of $200,000 for each fiscal year of the 2019-2020 biennium and specifying the use of appropriated funds to hire two full-time equivalent enforcement officers for the pilot project;
(2) Making it effective on July 1, 2019; and
(3) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment 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 H.B. No. 1503, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1503, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair