STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1298
RE: H.B. No. 297
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 297, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MOSQUITO VECTOR CONTROL,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to investigate potential innovative vector control programs by:
(1) Directing the Department of Agriculture to review the Aedes aegypti mosquito with Wolbachia bacteria and render a determination for placement of the mosquito on the appropriate animal import list; and
(2) Directing the Departments of Agriculture and Health to collaborate on a report to the Legislature that includes recommendations on the importation and release of the Aedes aegypti mosquito with Wolbachia bacteria or alternative vector control programs.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and four individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committees find that the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary mosquito species that is responsible for transmitting human viruses, including Zika and dengue. Your Committees also find that the release of Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and subsequent interbreeding with wild mosquitoes, reduce the ability of cumulative mosquito populations to serve as disease vectors without suppressing mosquito populations and altering the ecosystem balance. Some research has also shown that Wolbachia is safe for humans, animals, and the environment.
Your Committees further find that protecting the residents of and visitors to Hawaii from mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika and dengue viruses warrants further inquiry into the feasibility and safety of importing and releasing mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria, including Aedes aegypti mosquitoes originating from Hawaii stock that could be imported for landscape scale mosquito control.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language throughout to clarify that the review shall include a review of the importation of mosquitoes originating from Hawaii stock that could be imported for landscape scale mosquito control;
(2) Adding the Department of Land and Natural Resources as a participating agency to collaborate on the report to the Legislature; and
(3) Making it effective upon approval.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 297, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 297, 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 Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
MIKE GABBARD, Chair