Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 223

       S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 223, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to ensure the continued efficient operation of irrigation systems in the State.


Specifically, this measure:


(1)  Transfers operational authority of certain portions of the East Kauai irrigation system to the Department of Agriculture;


(2)  Funds operations and maintenance of the East Kauai irrigation system, including staffing positions for the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Resource Management Division; and


(3)  Authorizes the issuance of general obligations bonds to increase state irrigation system capacity statewide.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; East Kauai Water Users' Cooperative; Kalepa Koalition; Saiva Siddhanta Church; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; and Hawaii Cattlemens Council.


     Your Committee finds that this measure allows for continued irrigation access while addressing significant operations and maintenance permitting issues.  Your Committee further finds that this measure will increase state-controlled irrigation system capacity statewide in support of the State's goal of increasing local food production.


     Additionally, your Committee finds that the issuance of general obligation bonds in the sum of $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2019-2020 to increase state-controlled irrigation system capacity statewide and an appropriation of $500,000 for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the operation and maintenance of the East Kauai irrigation system are necessary to achieve the intent of this measure.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Clarifying that the three-year water licensing deadline referenced in section 1, subsection (e) of the measure is for a stream diversion works permit that may be extended until July 1, 2021;


(2)  Clarifying that the "significant progress" the applicant must demonstrate to be granted an extension of the three-year deadline shall include, at minimum, the submission of a completed stream diversion works permit application;


(3)  Changing the amounts authorized for general obligation bond issuance and the amount of general funds appropriated for the operation and maintenance of the East Kauai irrigation system to unspecified amounts;


(4)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and


(5)  Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 223, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 223, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,